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Take the Competitive Edge Challenge

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How well do you know Phi Theta Kappa’s Five Star Competitive Edge program? The 2013-2014 International Officers will host a two-week Competitive Edge Challenge on March 4, 6, 11 and 13 at 8 p.m. CST each night.

First round starts tonight, March 4, at 8 p.m. at facebook.com/phithetakappa.

The Challenge will take place on the Society’s Facebook page. Act quickly, because a winner will be announced at 10 p.m. that same night.

Watch videos by each International Officer. Post your answer in the comments section below the Facebook post, and one member with the correct answer will be randomly selected each night to win a $50 credit to the Phi Theta Kappa Store.

“One of our goals as an International Officer team is to encourage participation in Competitive Edge,” said International President Daniel Chitty, a member of the Alpha Gamma Pi Chapter from Austin Community College in Texas. “Competitive Edge is a key resource offered by Phi Theta Kappa to enhance professional development skills, and we want as many members as possible to take advantage of this awesome opportunity.”

Prior to becoming International President, Chitty served as a regional officer in Texas. Increasing participation in Competitive Edge was a goal of his regional officer team, and the success and positive results of the initiative were so overwhelming that he brought the goal to the international level. Texas was one of the top three regions for participation in Competitive Edge in 2013, along with Florida and Kansas.

Competitive Edge is a self-paced professional development plan available exclusively to Phi Theta Kappa members. It features activities and instructional videos designed to strengthen such marketable skills as communication, teamwork, critical thinking, goal setting, professional etiquette and more.

In 2013, 1,551 Phi Theta Kappa members participated in Competitive Edge, with 515 of them completing Level 5. With employers placing increased importance on soft skills, Chitty and the other International Officers are hoping the Facebook Challenge will inspire even more members to log on to Competitive Edge and start working toward a goal.

Research presented by the National Association of Colleges and Employers in its Job Outlook 2012 Survey listed that the attribute of having held a leadership position held equal influence as a potential hire's major in whether they would get the job.

The survey also showed that evidence of teamwork, leadership and written communication skills topped the lists of attributes employers seek on a candidate's resume. Teamwork skills were rated as the overall most important skills a candidate can have.

Members have long praised Competitive Edge for the effect it’s had on them both personally and professionally. The plan has led students to go from inactive members to engaged leaders in their chapters and on their campuses.

One key component of the plan is that it keeps track of your progress, creating an online portfolio of activities and accomplishments. Members can walk through the steps of putting together a professional resume, which is imperative when applying for scholarships now and jobs later.

“It’s designed to help members strengthen marketable skills that are needed no matter what your major or career choice are,” said Jennifer Stanford, Phi Theta Kappa’s Chief Student Engagement Officer. “And, Competitive Edge can help any member build an effective resume of marketable skills — even those who are not able to actively participate in their chapters.”

Videos of many past Annual Convention and Honors Institute speakers are also available for viewing. Other videos include “Overcoming Speech Anxiety,” “Social Media Etiquette,” and “Online Job Interviews.”

“I learned how to communicate with others to set goals, manage conflicts and successfully complete tasks and projects,” said John Fernandez, a Five-Star Member and a graduate of St. Petersburg College in Florida. “I have had the opportunity to learn how to make formal presentations. I have become a more effective speaker.

“I have also sharpened my critical thinking skills, which have allowed me to become a better writer and a better person. I have learned to work with all types of leadership and have had the opportunity to teach others to do the same.”

Need more reasons to start work on the Five Star Competitive Edge Program? Check out this story: “The Skills Employers Wish College Grads Had.”