Christie Muehlbauer from the Shelby County Board of Education Human Resources department speaking to MHS students about effective interviewing skills during a career readiness conference. (contributed)
Christie Muehlbauer from the Shelby County Board of Education Human Resources department speaking to MHS students about effective interviewing skills during a career readiness conference. (contributed)

Archived Story

Career conference empowers Montevallo High students

Published 3:00pm Monday, December 2, 2013

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Community Columnist

What kind of job fits my personality? How do I prepare for an interview? What does an effective resume look like? These questions were answered for students at Montevallo High School’s Career Readiness Conference Nov. 25-26.

The second annual conference, sponsored by the Student Government Association, provided a unique educational experience in the two days leading up the Thanksgiving break. On Monday, students attended sessions to improve interviewing skills, learn their personality type, be an outstanding employee, work in a team and understand accepted practices of etiquette.

“The teambuilding games were a lot of fun,” senior John Wagner said. “We had time to interact and get to know one another better during the hands-on activities.”

Tuesday’s conference brought an array of speakers representing careers such as banking, engineering, dentistry, law enforcement, forensic science and game design.

Last year’s conference theme was personal empowerment, which promoted building students’ interpersonal skills. This year’s career conference builds on the idea that students can use those improved interpersonal skills to develop networking and interviewing abilities for future employment.

“Our goal through this event is to equip students with skills to become not only employable, but successful and valuable employees,” SGA sponsor Lee Pastor said. “They have now been exposed to different opportunities that exist in the career world and, hopefully, some students will begin to consider an occupation they never thought of before.”

The SGA officers and representatives worked diligently to acquire volunteer speakers to present at the conference; they then acted as liaisons and facilitators during the conference.

“Members of the SGA brainstormed different careers they would like featured, networked and contacted speakers themselves, planned the schedule, brought breakfast for the speakers, created signs to advertise and wrote thank you notes,” Pastor said. “These students worked hard to create a worthwhile conference for the student body. They were assistants and ambassadors for the speakers, and helped conduct the student body through the two-day conference.”

The conference has provided a way for students to recognize the application of their skills to the real world. Maintaining a good attitude, working effectively with others, accepting and learning from constructive feedback and providing clear communication are at the heart of success in the classroom and success in a career.

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