“Has anyone ever run their own business?” “Who here has participated in drama?” “Does anybody here have a Master’s degree?” Networking can be intimidating to young people, but networking with the promise of prizes? Much more fun. At KidsTek’s second annual Aurora Youth 4 Success Mock Job Interview Day, students and adult volunteers participated in Networking Bingo to start to break the ice and get ready to learn.
“It can be very intimidating for high school students to walk up to a professional-looking adult and introduce themselves. We try to make it easy for the kids for this day of soft skill practice so that it is more familiar and comfortable once they’re in the real world,” said Senior Instructor Emily Tow.
For mock job interviews, friends of KidsTek from a variety of Denver metro area industries generously volunteer an afternoon to give students an important opportunity to practice their soft skills. This year’s volunteers were Robert Franklin II, Diversity, Health Equity & Inclusion Program Manager at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Mackenzie Meacham, manager of a Caribou Coffee location in Aurora, Nestor Rizo-Patron, Data Analyst at Regis University, and Gerardo Ceballos, Program Manager of Diversity Affairs in the Leeds School of Business, CU Boulder.
In addition to ice breakers and mock interviews, participants also took part in a panel discussion during which students asked questions on topics ranging from interviews, to careers, researching colleges, and more. KidsTek students generated questions as a class designed to broaden their understanding of college and career readiness.
KidsTek Program Director Andrew Bissland also participated in both interviewing and in the panel. “I thought that the students all prepared well for this day, and it showed in their professional attitudes and ability in answering their interviewers’ questions,” said Bissland.