SCHS freshmen practice interview skills

Published 4:31 pm Thursday, February 20, 2020

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

Members of the Shelby County High School freshman class recently had the opportunity to get a taste of the real world by interviewing with local businessmen and women in their area.

The project, called Freshman Focus, was part of the Career Prep class that requires first-year high school students to create a digital portfolio with a resume, and the goals they’d like to accomplish while they are in high school.
Teachers Ashley Crumpton, Keyla Handley and Brooklyn Walden led their freshmen students in creating a portfolio to present to potential interviewers.

It covered a personal introduction, possible career interests, volunteering goals and more. Then, they recruited business leaders from the community to volunteer a few hours to conduct mock interviews with the students, giving them an idea of what to expect when they begin interviewing for jobs and other opportunities over the next few years.
The students showed up in professional dress ready to present and impress when the time came, and the volunteers showed up equally ready to interview and mentor.

“We felt it would greatly benefit our freshman to get some real-world experience by giving them an audience to present their portfolios to,” Crumpton said. “We also wanted them to have the chance to have a dialogue with community members about life outside of the walls of Shelby County High School. So often we get wrapped up in the monotony of the education system and forget that we not only need to develop our students academically, but also invest in them to ensure they become well-rounded members of society.”

Shelby County can rest assured that the students of today are putting a lot of thought into their future already thanks to this program.

Freshman Jamar Brasher, who is currently considering a future in language interpreting combined with law, came to his interview with as many questions as he did answers.

When asked what led him to this possible career choice, he gave examples of where he was already trying to use his early knowledge of Spanish to help other students at his school, and said, “I just like helping people no matter what it is they are going through.”

Some of the mock interviews even turned into real opportunities for a handful of students who walked out of the event with follow-up interviews with local businesses.

As students shared their personal interests, many of the interviewers were able to guide their student toward volunteer opportunities that would not only help them reach their required five hours of community service for the year, but also help them gain experience to add to the resumes they are already working to build.

Shelby County High School extended thanks to Torie Nix of the Rinehart Agency, Treadwell Davis of Davis Drugs and Coosa Cotton, Fran Cooper of Trilogy Threads, as well as other community leaders, educators and counselors who volunteered their time to help make this event a success to the students.