One of the great benefits of Unbound’s Ascend program is the flexibility it offers. Instead of paying tens of thousands of dollars, going into debt, and living on a campus like many of their college-bound peers, Ascend students get the freedom to work part-time or full-time while they prepare for what’s next.
This enables many students to start making back their investment in Ascend almost immediately. Furthermore, it enables students to test their interests, explore opportunities, and build experience and skill in fields that interest them. They don’t have to wait until graduation to start building a career or business in their particular field of interest.
Not surprisingly, many Ascend students work for themselves in one way or another. They either start their own business or work in a freelance capacity doing a service they’ve mastered.
So what kind of jobs do Ascend students actually work during their time in the program?
The answer of course is diverse but here are just a few categories that past and present students have worked in.
Not surprisingly, the most common job that Ascend students work is Chick-fil-A. The company is well-known for its quality and then includes its work environment. Many young adults get a great start by working in the food service industry. These positions teach customer service skills, communication, leadership, and other proficiencies.
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Furthermore, considering the kind of quality young adults Ascend attracts, it’s not shocking that a number of the Ascend students employed in food service businesses are in leadership positions. Whether it’s Chick-fil-A, Domino’s Pizza, or a family-run restaurant, many students in Ascend are applying what they learn on the job.
A number of other Ascend students are involved in their family’s entrepreneurial ventures. Examples include students who work on the family farm, a laundry mat owned by family, a family-run restaurant, and a truck restoration business.
Ascend’s structure gives students access to a national network and community while enabling them to stay local. This enables many students to invest in their family’s businesses and remain connected to entrepreneurial projects on the home front.
As mentioned above, a number of Ascend students work for themselves. This looks a lot of different ways including nannying, running a construction business, and doing consulting for media, IT, and marketing.
Ascend enables students who want to work independently and build something entrepreneurial to move forward with confidence without putting their life preparation on hold. In fact, if we learn best from experience, especially failure, then self-employment early in one’s career can be incredibly rewarding. Many lessons are learned that wouldn’t be learned on another job.
Once again, Ascend’s flexibility and community support make these kinds of entrepreneurial ventures far less daunting and more rewarding.
Of course, there’s also a number of exceptional Ascend students who are employed in what might be considered more “traditional” jobs. These are more along the lines of your typical “nine-to-five” jobs for other companies.
Examples of this include working at an Amazon warehouse, working as a ramp agent at an international airport, working at a greenhouse, coaching cross country and track, serving as a paralegal, and working at a motorcycle repair shop.
Ascend gives the flexibility to pursue “full-time” employment like the examples above. Because the young adult isn’t stuck in the classroom all day, they’re able to make money and build opportunities in the real world.
As you can see, Ascend students work a variety of jobs in a variety of industries. The common thread is that they’re able to move forward with their careers and take important opportunities because of the flexibility that Ascend offers.
Additionally, Ascend provides a community network that has resulted in dozens of job connections for students both during and after their time in the program. There are a number of companies that specifically offer jobs to Ascend students because of the community’s reputation for containing reliable, hardworking, and leading individuals.
Jace Bower is a Copywriter for Unbound. An Unbound alumnus, he has experienced firsthand the powerful advantages of doing college differently and participating in an intentional community. Jace graduated with his bachelor’s degree in History in 2016 and has worked in restaurant management and marketing since then. He also served on the Unbound Student Cabinet in 2019.
The author of two books and a semi-regular blogger, Jace can often be found doing something with words. When he’s not, chances are he’s reading about theology, listening to music, or playing pool or tennis with his wife Shannon in their Virginia home.