SESSIONS which teach students leaving secondary school valuable skills on how to apply for colleges/universities and/or jobs is an important programme that all schools must have.
This is coming from the Head of Department at St. Ursula’s, Dr. Glenda Niles who spoke with the media in between conducting mock interviews for employment and college and university placements with fifth form students under the programme heading of ‘Dress for Success’ recently at the school.
She said that this is because some persons head onto university and when they graduate, apply for jobs and get that interview, they do not know how to conduct themselves or to answer the questions.
“I think that it is crucial. You do see people that leave university and years later they go looking for a job and it is their first interview. They have had no experience. They didn’t get somebody who said to them, ‘you know, you need to fix this, put it this way.’ You know, these are some of the questions that come during an interview. So you know, how do you answer those types of questions and that type of thing, I think that it is unfortunate that adults didn’t get a chance to get this type of experience.”
Dr. Niles said that so far, though the students are a little nervous, they are responding well. She stated that if it were a real interview they would do well.
One of her regrets is that only 18 of the school leavers decided to participate in this volunteer initiative as she would have liked all of them to have participated since it is a useful experience.
“It is a little unfortunate that all of them did not agree to take part. We didn’t force them, so you know, it was a voluntary thing. A couple of them even chickened out this morning. You know, ‘well, I don’t think that I can do it.’ That type of thing. But what they didn’t understand is that the practice that you get here would be invaluable later.”
The initiative is a part of their Finishing Touches programme for school leavers where they are being prepared for completing applications for colleges, universities and jobs of which the final part was to take part in an interview.
Other areas of the programme including how to write resumes, how to complete application forms for tertiary level educational institutions and how to ask someone for a letter of reference.
The Head of Department said that her parting advice to students when they graduate would be to always give of their best regardless of which path they choose to follow.
“What I want for them to do is to take from here the good things that they learnt and to take it out into the world. Give of their best no matter what area they go into.”