Steele students receive employment training from area business
Steele students receive employment training from area business
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Steele student Colby Phillips participates in a mock interview

Parents often cite real-world training as a desire for their children in modern education, and at Steele Accelerated High School, students recently received that training directly from the source – a business.

Wells Fargo Dealer Services hosted its annual employability seminar at the school for the seventh consecutive year, presenting students with information on how to improve their résumés and give better interviews. The event culminated in mock interviews for juniors and seniors, while younger students discuss ways to make a résumé stand out and tips of actions to avoid during interviews.

Robin Ellis, principal of Steele, said the event helps students prepare for their lives after they’re done with school-based education.

“I want students to know how important it is to be ready for a job interview,” she said. “A lot of students feel it’s easy to just walk in and get a job, but there’s a lot more to it – this teaches them the whole process. We want our students to be future-ready, and we’ve had kids get jobs because of what they’ve learned from this.”

One of the first tips students received wasn’t about the interview process itself, but how to look the part of an employee that a hiring manager wants in his or her office. Steve Wolston, the Wells Fargo Dealer Services recruiting consultant leading the event, said job candidates should wear attire that’s a step above what their potential employer typically wears. If an employer typically dresses in business casual attire, for instance, an interviewee should at least dress in business professional attire.

“We want our students to be future-ready, and we've had kids get jobs because of what they've learned from this.”

Steele’s students already looked the part, as they use Wednesdays – the day of the week the seminar took place – to dress up in business-appropriate attire.

Capping off the seminar, juniors and seniors took turns rotating between interviewer and interviewee in mock job interviews, asking questions the students can expect in their first real-life meetings with potential employers.

Colby Phillips, a senior at Steele who has participated in the seminar each of the past four years, said the mock interviews were his favorite part of the event because it helped him see both sides of the interview process.

“This event has helped me become better at being interviewed and get a better understanding of how interviewers feel,” he explained. “I got two different jobs through this from learning how to properly interview and how to properly dress for an interview. The biggest thing I’ve learned from this is how to keep my answers clear and concise instead of blurting out the first thing that comes in my head and rambling on – you really need to know what you’re going to say before you start saying it.”

Classmate Kassidy Inthisone, a fellow senior, agreed with Colby and said she too used the tips from the seminar to land her preferred job.

“I’ve learned many ways to talk about myself in a very professional way,” Kassidy said. “It’s absolutely amazing – the first time I did this four years ago, I took the resume template they gave us home that night and knocked it out. I used that resume to get a job – my first dream job – and I’m still in that job to this day.”

To see photos from Steele Accelerated High School's employability seminar with Wells Fargo Dealer Services, click here.