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A QualitEvolution is intended to capture positions and experiences as a participant in the evolution of the Quality profession into the 21st century. From its origins as the brainchild of Corporate Industrial Statisticians, our profession has transformed and evolved to incorporate and adapt to the demands and expectations of our modern existence.

The scope of the subject matter within A QualitEvolution extends to the furthest ranges of quality, business transformation, management science, and quality issues especially pertinent to the members of ASQ in Canada.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Student Strategy for ASQ - Emphasize Today's Benefits

There are a lot of efforts and initiatives to engage students into ASQ.  This is a very promising demographic, and the energy, vitality, and zeal for innovation exhibited by the students will enrich ASQ and make it a better organization.

In pursuing this group, we have to consider their needs, their capability to participate, and the benefits that will help them today for their professional advantages tomorrow.

How do the ASQ Advantages apply to students?

1. Training and certification:
Many of the training options and certifications are available for those at the starting point of the profession.  Having a credential like the CQIA (Certified Quality Improvement Associate) may appear elementary to the Black Belts and Quality Managers among us, but it can certainly distinguish a new professional from the pack.  The cost is modest, and the connection to other ASQ Certified professionals is valuable and enduring.

2. Interaction with active networks:
While others have to wait for the job ads to appear, and submit their resumes as part of a "cattle call" hiring process, students who are connected to an active ASQ network are tapped in and made aware of potential opportunities in the earliest stages.  Not only is there an early awareness of potential jobs or contract opportunities, quite often the hiring manager is also an ASQ member, permitting a solid interaction to occur.

3. Participation in projects to showcase skills:
Students will face the common dilemma: they can't get hired without work experience, and they can't get work experience until they are hired.  ASQ provides project opportunities, in a non-profit manner, to permit students to showcase their skills and work ethic.  If this helps ASQ and the immediate cluster of companies or organizations close to ASQ, then a reciprocal benefit could occur whereby the students can leverage that positive impression into a full-time role or contracting opportunity.

4. Comity and mobility:
In our global society, opportunities may arise outside of your immediate geographic location.  ASQ provides a connection across cities, states, provinces, and countries.  A Six Sigma Green Belt earned through ASQ's rigorous and stringent examination process will carry equal weight and validity wherever ASQ operates or has a visible presence.  This is an advantage for the student, who can get credentials through ASQ in rural Canada or India, and apply these certifications to demonstrate their qualifications for a role based in Texas or the United Kingdom.

5. Exposure to real-life examples of quality:
New graduates are often derided as having "theory".  ASQ recognizes the importance of academic achievement, and complements that with various forums from which a member can become acquainted with the successful application of quality practices, and the positive impacts on business outcomes and customer satisfaction.

This is not an exhaustive list, but simply the tip of the "ASQ Iceberg", as there are more benefits not mentioned above.  Of course, these benefits are dependent on the willingness of the ASQ Member Unit to engage and support student members.  As more people learn and understand the benefits, they can embrace and sustain not only student membership, but overall member retention.

I have a vested interest in the infusion of diverse cultures and age demographics.  Our ASQ composition should reflect the actual Quality workforce in heritage and attitude.  I want to experience and encounter the global potential and possibilities of our professional community, and that has to start with the way we attract and engage our members with the most vitality - the student communities.

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