In the Spotlight

Training Interns & Partnering for Success: Students Learn about Interviewing

TIPS is a student internship program developed to connect high school students with employers and real job opportunities. TIPS provides youth with an opportunity to learn pre-employment skills, participate in an internship with a local business, earn high school credit and gain summer employment.

In preparation for upcoming internships and job interviews, students at Rivendell Academy learned first hand what employers are looking for when interviewing potential employees. Sterling Golder, Britton Lumber’s manager of purchasing and sales, came to the TIPS classroom on January 12th to share his thoughts and experience. He reminded students that a good first impression is very important – making eye contact, being friendly and giving a firm handshake are great ways to get your interview headed in a positive direction.

Mock interviews enabled students to put Mr. Golder’s recommendations to practice in the classroom. They were asked to answer common questions such as:

• What are your strengths?
• Tell us about yourself?
• Why do you want to work here?

As students became more familiar with this line of questioning it became more natural for each student to answer these tough questions with ease. Two students practiced their interviews in front of their peers at Mr. Golder’s direction. These students were given helpful feedback that students can draw from in the near future and in the years ahead. Mr. Golder left students with a parting sentiment, “Life isn’t a box of chocolates, life is a jar of jalapenos,” explaining to the students how important it is to be flexible and make the best of each opportunity.

TIPS is offered to local high schools through a collaboration between the Upper Valley Business and Education Partnership (UVBEP) and Navicate. Thanks to a grant from the Vermont Department of Labor’s Next Generation Fund, UVBEP is able to offer TIPS at three schools from November 2008 through October 2009. As with other established UVBEP programs, participating schools and communities need to provide matching funding for TIPS or other programs to continue. Read more or contact UVBEP for details.

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