Scotiabank’s Schools’ Road Show ‘Preparing for the World of Work’ is on the road again. On Monday, Graydon Sealy Secondary School was the latest stop for the travelling career preparation workshop.
A group of mostly fifth form students and a few fourth-form business students heard from Scotiabank’s Belinda Maraj about how they should prepare themselves to get the jobs and careers they want. Maraj, Scotiabank’s Assistant Manager for Learning & Development, pointed out that preparation starts way before the interview, urging students to start thinking about their “personal brand”.
“Whatever you do now, you are creating a brand. You are important as a person and you have control over how people perceive you,” emphasised Maraj, noting that their dress, behaviour, friends and the activities they engage in, all help to shape their ‘brand’.
Maraj also covered practical preparation tips, from cautioning students to ensure they had credit on their phones so they could receive calls after applying for jobs, to scouting out routes and locations in advance so they could be on time for interviews.
The highlight of the workshop was a ‘post-interview’ budgeting exercise which took students through how they might manage their money after successfully securing their first job. The exercise sparked a lively debate between the students as they were prompted to estimate how much they would spend on various expenses such as transportation, lunch, clothes and entertainment.
The students quickly discovered how quickly the stack of Monopoly money used in the exercise dwindled, especially after teachers representing ‘Miss P.A.Y.E’ and ‘Miss NIS’ stepped forward at the start showing the deductions from what they thought was their actual salary.
Graydon Sealy guidance counsellor Donna Tull-Cox said the workshop had a definite and positive impact on her students.
“It was very impressive. What I found most impressive was that students who normally wouldn’t say much in class, were voluntarily giving their opinions and suggestions and really interacting,” said Tull-Cox.
Maraj, who conceptualised the free workshop programme said that in delivering similar presentations on other occasions, it occurred to her that school-leavers could “really benefit from learning some of these skills before they even enter the workforce”. Noting that the programme fitted with Scotiabank’s philanthropic focus on young people in the community, she said
they were looking forward to taking it to more schools.