Lehman College Expands Career Advancement Program with Nonprofit Braven

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Lehman College is expanding its career advancement program with Braven, a national nonprofit that supports students from historically underserved communities from college through career. Over the next three years, an additional 1,400 Lehman students will be able to take advantage of Braven’s career prep offerings and earn college credit while doing so.

Braven uses a credit-bearing course on career education—which includes job-hunting strategies, resume and network building, and mock interviews—to help undergraduates pivot from the classroom to the workforce. Lehman became a Braven university partner in New York City in January 2020, with an initial cohort of 110 students.

“We’re proud of our partnership with Braven, which helps us to ensure that Lehman students aren’t just well prepared academically but can confidently navigate a competitive job market,” said Lehman College President Fernando Delgado. “At Lehman, we have always known that part of the work in helping students achieve their career goals is giving them tools and strategies that help them get a foot in the door.”

Indeed, students or “Fellows” in the Braven program perform well in several key job measures. For example, the 420 Braven fellows who graduated in 2020 were 22 percentage points more likely to attain a job within six months of graduation than their peers (58 percent vs 36 percent). Braven Fellows also reported feeling more confident in their abilities to find a job, according to the organization’s statistics.

“Lehman students are incredibly talented, and we’re so proud to partner with Lehman College to complement their career services and help students develop deeper networks and career-readiness skills,” says Kilsys Payamps-Roure, Braven’s NYC Executive Director. “This partnership will help more Lehman students maximize their potential and propel them on their path to economic success, not only for themselves but for their families as well.”

The Braven experience begins with a hybrid course that Lehman students typically take during their sophomore or junior year. Fellows complete weekly modules on Braven’s online platform and then apply that content through weekly virtual learning labs in a cohort of five-to-eight students led by a volunteer professional from a local company. In New York, Braven’s employer partners include Credit Suisse, Deloitte, Montefiore Medical Center, Salesforce, CIBC, and WW.

The assignments are designed to grow students’ leadership in five professional competencies: operating and managing, problem-solving, working in teams, networking and communicating, and self-driven leading.

Once Fellows have finished the course, they receive additional opportunities to develop leadership and career-readiness skills and grow their professional contacts, including 12-weeks of one-to-one mentoring and access to Braven’s jobs newsletter and professional development and networking events.

“Braven taught me to accept myself and pushed me outside of my comfort zone,” says Nadgeda Magloire ‘21, a Spring 2021 Fellow who graduated Lehman with a BA in psychology and is now a benefits specialist at the nonprofit NADAP. “Thanks to Braven and all the support I received at Lehman College, I am where I am now: I have a great job and the right skills for my job.”