A job interview can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. One way to make it less stressful is to be prepared. Windsor Central High School seniors took a big step in that direction by taking part in the Day with Professionals event, which paired students with members of industries in their field of interest.
Students held a Q-&-A session with the professionals before being subjected to a mock job interview. Professionals graded the students on presentation, appearance and delivery.
“We want to prepare them as much as possible before they leave high school and start seeing these situations on a fairly regular basis,” said high school English teacher Lindsay Rogers, who began the program last spring. “We want them to know how to answer questions properly, even how to shake hands properly. These aren’t things that are taught at home necessarily any more. It’s important to expose them to these things.”
The professions represented included law, journalism, politics and education. As students worked to make a strong first impression, many succeeded.
“They’re phenomenal. They’re very smart, mature and inquisitive. I wish we had more time,” said Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell.
“I was impressed with their enthusiasm,” said Press and Sun Bulletin reporter Anthony Borelli. “It was a rare opportunity for me to share some of the things I’ve learned from my time as a reporter with people who either want to be in the same field or not yet know what they want to do.”
The students received feedback and practical advice.
“I learned you don’t have to major in anything specific if you want to go to law school,” said senior Madelynn Williams. “I was nervous but I’m happy it happened. I thought it was going to be boring but it wasn’t.”
The “Day with Professionals,” along with Ben Carpenter’s book, The Bigs, which covers soft job skills, is one of the major components of the 12th-grade English classes designed to ready students for the world of professional employment.
“We are grateful that our community cares about the futures of our students by sharing their time and knowledge with them. Our seniors find this event to be tremendously rewarding in helping them to plan their futures and many of the professionals then open the doors of their businesses to our students to participate in job shadows,” said 12th-grade English teacher Karen Brey. “Overall, the event is a highlight of our work to make sure Windsor’s students meet the state standard of being both college- and career-ready.”