Giving Students the Tools to Land Career-Starting Internships
Preparing for your first job interview can be extremely nerve-wracking. Across the U.S., 20 percent of students will not complete high school on time and earn a diploma, so landing that first job can seem close to impossible. Many U.S. high schools do not have adequate resources available to help students start their careers, whether it be pursuing a college degree or going straight into the workforce.
To kick off FleishmanHillard’s 2019 FH4Inclusion efforts, our San Francisco office partnered with Junior Achievement (JA), a global non-profit organization that works to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in today’s global economy. Through a partnership that one of us brought from college, we were able to connect with JA in Northern California for this opportunity. JA programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and use experiential learning to inspire students to dream big and reach their potential. Each year, JA helps more than 10 million students in 100+ countries prepare for their future, by providing them with a path towards college or joining the working world.
Our volunteers spent an afternoon at a local high school mentoring to help them develop the necessary skills for their first interview. This high school serves a diverse group of students, with 21 percent learning English as their second language, and 65 percent are on the free and reduced lunch program. We shared stories of our first interviews, reviewed resumes from juniors and seniors interested in careers across various industries and performed mock interviews, providing constructive feedback on ways for students to improve their interview skills. Our volunteers equipped these students with many of the skills they need, ranging from speaking slower to giving examples of challenges they have overcome to projecting confidence to rock an interview.
One of the best moments of the day for one of our volunteers was during a student’s mock interview when they were talking about how they don’t have time for any extracurricular activities. When the volunteer asked why, the student shared that they are responsible for taking care of their little sister right after school. The volunteer helped the student re-frame their response to highlight how their reliability can be a strength. The student had never considered speaking about their family care-taking obligations during an interview, but after today, they will continue to share how their personal experiences can show their character.
Today, 91 percent of millennials wish they had greater access to career education programs. Junior Achievement is providing students around the world with the life skills they need to land jobs and inspiring them to succeed in this tough economy. Together, we impacted more than 20 high schoolers in our community by preparing them for their next steps after high school.
(left to right: Wes Carlson, Jessica Yah-Lira, Sam Drexler, Michelle McCourt, Jenny Grich, Mary Ellen Green, Grace Vickers)