Since 2007, Robert Half has supported Enactus, a global nonprofit that pairs academic and business leaders with college students to create programs that improve the quality of life for people around the world.
Each year, we participate in multiple events across North America as exhibitors, subject matter experts and volunteer competition judges. Unique circumstances this year created an additional partnership opportunity to meet the immediate needs of Enactus students: a Summer Leadership Series, as an alternative to displaced summer internship experiences.
This May, we were proud to be part of the Enactus virtual U.S. National Exposition. Andrea Seymour, senior program manager for Leadership Development, represented Robert Half in two online student Q&A sessions during the Industry & Opportunity Fair. Many of our employees participated as judges for multiple rounds of student project competitions. And senior executive director Paul McDonald, also a member of the Enactus U.S. National Advisory Board, shared his thoughts with students as part of a panel presentation: The New Economy in a Post-Pandemic World, which addressed how companies are pivoting to adapt to today’s unique business climate.
Through his relationships with Enactus and other student organizations, McDonald understood that many students had lost summer internships or job opportunities due to the pandemic. He encouraged teams from Robert Half Community Relations, Marketing and HR Product Technology to partner with Enactus to think outside the box and look for ways we could help support these students.
The outcome is the Summer Leadership Series, a set of courses designed to provide students access to career development and skills training. Robert Half supported this pilot program with access to specific Skillsoft courses in the areas of leadership, business acumen, finance, critical thinking and emotional intelligence. The program runs through the summer; students who complete the curriculum will receive a certificate and electronic badge for their LinkedIn profile from Enactus.
Just prior to the launch of the program, events related to racism, injustice and inequality unfolded in our communities, which led to a request from Enactus students to learn more about inclusion and diversity. Joan Leighty, manager of Robert Half's e-Learning Programs, worked nimbly with Skillsoft to add inclusion and unconscious bias training — including courses, books, audio books, videos and other related content — to the student portal.
“I’m proud we’ve been able to be responsive and meet the needs of students during this time,” Leighty said. “I look forward to continuing to support Enactus students on their learning journey.”
Enactus U.S. executive vice president Steve Kappler said, “Over the years, Robert Half has been a valuable partner and a source of expert career advice for our students. Both of our organizations place a high value on education and workforce development. The Summer Leadership Series collaboration was a chance for us to strengthen our alliance and provide students with skills that will help them increase their opportunity for success after graduation and throughout their careers.”
During the Summer Leadership Series program kickoff in early June, McDonald spoke with students about the importance of continuous learning and answered questions related to careers and job searches.
Kenny Brumbaugh, a senior at St. Francis University in Loretto, Penn., said, “I am extremely grateful for not only having the opportunity to take these incredibly beneficial courses, but also for Robert Half's fast response to add content to address unconscious racial bias along with diversity and inclusion. It added immense value to the already outstanding program and speaks volumes about Robert Half as an organization.”
“This was truly a team effort,” said McDonald. “I’m proud of how we’ve been able to support Enactus in a new way and offer students resources that match their current needs in this challenging time. The courses we are offering will enhance their marketability when they begin their search for employment.”