Exelaration

Exelaration’s Big Changes, Explained by CEO Steve Cooper

What if your favorite restaurant changed their menu? We’re not a restaurant, but we recently struck fear into our stakeholders’ hearts because of some changes we’re making to our award-winning Exelaration program. Let me explain. We’re getting lots of questions about the changes underfoot at Exelaration, so we thought we’d answer some of them. First […]

by | Jun 14, 2022

What if your favorite restaurant changed their menu? We’re not a restaurant, but we recently struck fear into our stakeholders’ hearts because of some changes we’re making to our award-winning Exelaration program. Let me explain.

We’re getting lots of questions about the changes underfoot at Exelaration, so we thought we’d answer some of them. First off, do we still work with undergraduate students? YES! We’ve helped bring undergraduate students into the professional workforce since 2009, and we’re not stopping. In fact, our new office on the NC State campus in Raleigh is busier than ever. As our expansion continues, we will seek to locate our Exelaration Centers on or near college campuses. Our mentors and team members love the contagious positive energy of being plugged into a continually growing community.

Endless Summer

One change we’re making is adding more full-time students to our teams. Most undergrads take summers off from school, and that’s when full-time internships and co-ops traditionally thrive. We’ve always had full-time learners in our program then, and we’ve taken note of how happy our clients are with the added attention we can give them. We’ve also noticed how lightning-fast the learning happens when our team members are able to work with us full-time. Over the past decade, we’ve asked ourselves why can’t summer last all year round. Simultaneously, we’ve noticed that universities are increasingly making co-ops and gap years more common, giving students a chance to work full-time during spring and/or fall, plus summers. We decided that if it makes our clients happy, and our learners can learn even more quickly, let’s adjust our program to accommodate full-time learners all year round.

Young at Heart

Another change we’re making is inviting more types of learners to our program. Our talented mentors work magic as they foster new careers being launched, and we see no reasons to limit our learner base to just undergraduate students. The world is filled with career-worthy individuals itching to contribute; what’s holding them back is a small experience deficit. The ugly catch-22 of the tech economy victimizes millions: you can’t get a tech job until you have experience. We think it’s negligent to prevent our magical mentorship model (ranked the #2 tech internship) from helping underemployed, underrepresented, and displaced people. So, even though our college-based model will always be rejuvenated with undergraduates, we refuse to let our calling be limited by age, degree, or station in life.

How We Do It

With all these changes and growth, the heart of what we do (and how we do it) will never change. We are not professional teachers; we’re teaching professionals. We believe that learning by doing is the most powerful (and most overlooked) kind of learning. We believe that the magic happens at edge of one’s comfort zone. We’ve perfected the art and science of mentoring software engineers using real client problems as the learning vehicle. There’s no substitution for a motivated stakeholder with a killer business problem you can solve with technology. Add a talented mentor skilled in best practices, and learning happens at an alarmingly, miraculous pace.

Think of how you learned a foreign language, a musical instrument, or how to cook your favorite dish. We’re willing to bet the combination of your own motivation, guidance from an expert, and a real-world need (like a trip overseas, a campfire in need of a guitar, or your own hunger) put your learning into overdrive. We’ve built the Exelaration program around this same unique combination of ingredients, and we’ll never change that recipe.

To learn more about our program and see how you fit into the tech talent revolution, email info@exelaration.com

 

steve.cooper@exelaration.com

With over 30 years’ experience in technology consulting, Steve Cooper has founded three successful companies whose clients include Fortune 100 companies, leading federal agencies, and world-class non-profit organizations. Starting his career as one of the first relational database experts, Steve’s focus is helping individuals achieve exceptional careers, and helping leaders build organizations around them. He founded NextUp Solutions to focus on transformative learning for teams and individuals. Steve is a vocal leader in the effort to invite more diverse and abundant participants to the technology workplace through internships and experiential learning.

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