It’s a feeling we are all familiar with: you graduate and are filled with a pride that quickly turns to a laser-sharp focus on finding the answer to a seemingly impossible question, now what?
It is in this time period, as post-grads metamorphose into professionals, that many young women find themselves wading in a sea of self-doubt – who to trust, what mentors to follow, and how to conduct themselves professionally in a manner that is both advantageous in building a strong network and clear career path.
10 years ago, the above may have seemed like an insurmountable task to accomplish. Thanks to ENTITY Academy’s mentorship and guidance, a new era of post-undergrad education has been born, built specifically to serve this need.
According to their website, ENTITY first launched in 2016 as a fast-growing women’s media platform, serving as a home for thoughtful dialogue between a new generation of leaders, doers, and tastemakers. Each summer since inception, ENTITY has hosted women from across the country for a digital marketing training program that includes high-touch mentorship. The curriculum is curated to fill the skills gap between college and career in a way that has never been done before.
“The writing is on the wall, a college degree is no longer enough to get ahead in life,” explains the academy. “In fact, research shows most employers now believe students graduating from college lack the necessary hard and soft-skills needed for a modern workforce. This is why at ENTITY we take a four-pillar approach to education, which includes hard skills, soft skills, mentorship, and career success services — all in order to address the whole person and prepare them for the Future of Work. By attending ENTITY Academy, whether online or in person, you’ll gain the competitive edge you need to build the career you want and join an ever-expanding network of #WomenThatDo.”
Simply put, ENTITY Academy strives to address the problematic gender pay gap by training, mentoring a new generation of young, professional women to accept nothing less than what they deserve. Through rigorous training and one-and-one mentorship with some of the biggest female leaders in their chosen career field, graduates of ENTITY find themselves better able to secure 21st century careers in their field, with the titles and pay their experience calls for.
What makes ENTITY Academy possible? The better question would be who.
Jennifer Schwab Wangers is the Founder and CEO of ENTITY, and she has one goal in mind: to support and empower women through education and mentorship.
“When I began my corporate career out of school, I was shocked to see how few women held senior positions,” explains Jennifer. “I was even more shocked to see how women viewed their compatriots at the office as competition. Instead of banding together to help each other, they would often torpedo and discredit each other.”
“I wanted to create a mentorship platform to get women on the fast track right out of school,” she furthers. “This eventually morphed our company into an innovative EdTech business that has a four pillar approach to education: a) hard skills; b) soft skills; c) mentorship; and d) experiences.”
One of the most problematic aspects of higher and continuing education has long been financial accessibility. Jennifer has sought to bridge that gap, bringing a long sought after inclusivity into higher education thanks to funding by a groundbreaking fintech company, Leif.
“The partnership with Leif is transformational for us because it opens up enrollment in our Academy for so many girls who might not have the necessary tuition up front,” says Jennifer. “Income Share Agreements are a very exciting new financial instrument that gives students a chance to graduate and get placed in good jobs before the repayment process begins.”
Leif’s mission is to increase access to quality education at an affordable price for millions through outcomes-aligned tuition financing. Leif partners with top schools and training programs like ENTITY Academy, which share their mission and prepare their students for the best possible career outcomes.
Income Share Agreements (ISAs) allow students to pursue their educational and career goals, while avoiding unnecessary financial risk by only requiring payment once said student secures a job.
Yes, you read that right. Payment starts once students have secured a viable job within their field. No rushing to find time-sucking jobs outside of their field just to pay the bills. These women are actually given the time and space to succeed without the dread of debt looming over their heads.
“By aligning their interests with those of their students, schools like ENTITY Academy that offer ISAs through Leif demonstrate their willingness to let their efficacy take center stage, creating radical transparency and accountability in educational and professional development,” explains Leif.
“We partnered with ENTITY Academy for a few reasons,” the company furthers. “First, ENTITY is deeply aligned with our mission as it creates clear career pathways for women in technical careers. Second, ENTITY has demonstrated positive historical outcomes. Finally, ENTITY is able to offer its program at a very competitive price. These attributes make ENTITY a perfect fit for ISAs. Our hope is that ENTITY can increase access to its program with ISAs and create upward mobility for tens of thousands of women entering in-demand careers over the next decade.”
How does Leif think access to alternative educational funding will affect the success of the next generation?
“With $1.7T in outstanding student debt, where payments are due regardless of someone’s circumstances and projected defaults are over 40%, there has never been a better time for alternative, outcomes-aligned student financing products,” Leif answers.
Simply, they explain, the next generation of learners do not want to be burdened with more debt and need access to better financing options to pursue their career goals.
Partnerships like the one between ENTITY Academy and Leif enables people to pursue their professional dreams without taking on unnecessary financial risk.
“We believe that eventually all students will demand their schools demonstrate an alignment of incentives by offering outcomes-based financing,” envisions Leif.