The Core Curriculum is the heart of the Startup Institute experience. It focuses on the skills and mindsets that separate great hires from good ones. As the backbone of the program, the Core makes up the bulk of weeks 1, 7 & 8 and makes weekly appearances as well.
“The Core strengthens the weaknesses you didn’t even know you had. It’s hard to describe the personal confidence that comes with this kind of self-transformation.” -- SINY grad Tay Tufenkjian
Here are some of the Emotional Intelligence (EQ) focused discussions and experiences:
EQ: What do you suck at?
Defining your weakness is the first step to iterating to become the talent you want to be. In the first day of the program we ask you to define one thing you suck at, which you can work on over the next 8 weeks. By putting this stake in the ground, you earn the support of your cohort to help you improve.
EQ: Self Awareness & Perspective Taking
When working as part of a small startup team, self awareness is a critical skill which helps you excel in your job and drive results. Recognizing your strengths, weaknesses, and how others perceive you will help you course-correct to generate better results, as well as help you become a stronger team member at a small company.
EQ: Introverts & Extroverts in Startups
Are startups more biased towards introverts or extroverts than traditional companies? Which do you think you are? Which do you act as? How does, or should, this impact your career search? How does this impact your performance on the job? How does this impact your email workflow? This session is designed to help you to consider your preferences when analyzing startup cultures so you can position yourself to perform at optimal levels.
EQ: Recognizing Communication Patterns
How does your communication style impact yourself and your company? By recognizing your own communication style and preference, you will learn to better adapt to others. This is one of the most meaningful Core sessions, as students give each other feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of each other’s communication patterns. This candid environment empowers everyone to truly progress.
Here are some of the Career focused workshops:
Career: You Don't Know Startup
What is startup culture? What are founders really like? What is it like to work at a startup? This session uncovers the true nature of working at an early stage company. Personally, startups are an emotional and gritty rollercoaster. Professionally, they are a unique blend of career autonomy balanced with unparalleled collaboration.
Career: Team Roles & Dynamics
"So, what's your title these days?"
"I don't know, but here's what I am working on."
Your job will change in the next year. Successful startups grow, which means increasing both their employee headcount and customer base. Every new hire changes the dynamics of a team and your role within it. This session defines the phrase "wear many hats" and considers what it means to develop a career in startups.
Career: Crafting a Career Theme
How do you articulate your career theme in a way that tells your personal passions as well as your professional abilities? Our goal in this workshop and follow-up coaching sessions is to help you define your career trajectory so you are prepared to land a job you will love.
Career: Your Resume is a Story
So, you used to be a graphic designer at Big Company X? How do you use your resumé and LinkedIn to articulate your career theme to position yourself for a job at a specific startup? This resume session is different than most. Startups don't use resumés as a screening process--they use them as a conversation starter. Your resumé should articulate your career theme. Above all, your resumé must tell a company not just where you have been but where you are headed and why.
The Core Curriculum experience also includes the IdeaHack and the Partner Project:
The IdeaHack is a Week 1 experience where you will get to know a cross-functional team intimately. In 24 hours, teams of 4-6 students across tracks work together to provide a solution to help a local non-profit solve a pressing problem.
The Partner Project
Over the course of the program, you will work with a cross-functional team to solve challenges faced by an actual startup. You will dedicate approximately 20 hours per week to the project, typically spending one full day onsite with the startup and using the remaining hours to work with your team throughout the week. The Partner Project experience gives context to the skills you're learning in-track and in our Core Curriculum so you can better apply them in your future position. The cross-functional approach encourages web devs, sales, technical marketing, and product people to collaborate toward a common outcome (similar to a startup, right?). This experience will be a great opportunity to get to know a specific company. More importantly, it is a point of reference where you can demonstrate your skill set to the entire community. The Partner Project offers a tangible product that each student can reference as evidence of newfound skills and experience.
What else do you want to learn?
One size doesn't fit all. Our Core Curriculum encourages individualized learning in differentiated ways. Each week we have formal and informal check-ins with every student in the program. These one-on-ones are specific to you--there is no template. Each week we address the challenges you are facing in your career exploration and figure out solutions to these blockers. This individualized approach allows you to progress further, faster.