C21 is the early career laboratory for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Our mission is to build a new early career path for liberal arts students. Over the last decade, we have launched a wide range of programs, from short workshops, to a liberal arts hackathon, to an Externship with local employers, to an intensive Bootcamp.
That experience has taught us a lot about internships. Both employers and universities have long relied on internships to bridge the gap between college and career, giving students experience and introducing them to the professional world. The best internships offer challenging professional projects, in a culture intentionally committed to learning and growth. But most employers do not have the luxury of building that kind of internship program.
So we reverse-engineered that internship experience and built it ourselves. We have launched a student-powered startup we call gesture, through which we will deliver all of our early career programs. And we have designed gesture from the ground up so that interns drive all areas of that work with real-world roles from operations to human resources to data management. We teach them a mindset and project management method that will accelerate their early career growth in any field or profession. We immerse them in a culture of challenge-driven growth with real expectations and real accountability to those expectations. And when they fall short, we neither make nor allow excuses; we confront failure through a mentorship model built around the truth, however uncomfortable or difficult that truth may be.
Liberal education has never been more important -- and we believe the best way to prove that is to help our graduates become the very best early career candidates.