Be the Influence: How to empower your students on a path toward career readiness

Past Webinar | May 18, 2023

More than ever, employers and universities are looking for more than just academic skills. In fact, according to, 71% of employers value emotional intelligence and soft skills over IQ. These skills are essential for success both in school and in life after graduation.

In this interactive session, our special guest, Amanda Flora, Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Education & Human Development, joined us to talk about the importance of social and emotional skills in career readiness and provide tips on how to integrate them into your school curriculum. We explored:

  • Non-academic skills that colleges and employers are looking for and the gaps that currently exist in K-12 curriculum
  • Challenges and solutions in defining career readiness from K-12 and specific tips to integrate social skill-building techniques into your classroom
  • Ways cultural influences factor into students’ career development


Dr. Flora (she/her) is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Education & Human Development, where she received her doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision in 2008. She has spent the last 10 years teaching school counselors-in-training career development and socialemotional skills to prepare them to be advocates and counselors in K12 schools. Under the umbrella of counselor education principles, Dr. Flora has developed popular courses on career and professional development which focus on diversity, equity, and wellness for undergraduates. She holds national credentials in career development and has served as president of the Virginia Career Development Association (VCDA) for two terms. Prior to her role as a professor, Dr. Flora worked at the McIntire School of Commerce as a career counselor and later developed and designed career services for the McIntire Business Fundamentals program. Dr. Flora’s unique teaching style was recognized by UVA students for creating inclusive classrooms where “all student voices are heard.” Her current interests are in understanding what pedagogical interventions increase undergraduate career readiness. In addition to teaching, Dr. Flora owns a small consulting business. At home, she relishes being a parent to two middle-schoolers who inspire her work every day and who keep her up to date on emerging teen vocabulary (but she still is not cool).