Ben Franklin Teams Up With Local Professionals for Mock Interviews
City Times Staff
Local junior high students last week got a small taste of what it’s like to apply for a job in the real world.
As part of their final exam for Ben Franklin Jr. High’s College and Career Readiness course, students learned more than just how to tweak their resumes — they participated in mock interviews with local professionals.
The mock interviews were conducted at the Portage Co. Business Council with help from 33 local business professionals.
“We practice not only the written and one-to-one communication skills our students need to be successful in the interview process, but the details of making a good first impression too,” said Kate Kaster, business teacher at Ben Franklin Junior High School.
Art Greco, business teacher at Ben Franklin, said young people students finesse their soft skills.
“[In class] we learn the importance of presenting our best selves — tying ties, ironing clothes, shaking hands, introducing ourselves,” Greco said. “We focus on putting our best foot forward and the students do a great job.”
Junior Achievement volunteers worked with students ahead of the mock interviews with a seven-week course, “JA: It’s My Future”.
“Many business owners tell us they can teach the technical aspects of the job but it is the soft skills they see as missing in their new employees,” said Serena Sblendorio, Junior Achievement district director.
The mock interviews were made possible with support from Junior Achievement and Partners in Education (PIE), a program of the Portage County Business Council Foundation.
“Many of the interviewers were impressed by the professionalism and caliber of these 8th grade students,” said Kayla Rombalski, director of talent development at the Portage County Business Council.