As a result of a grant-funded initiative from 2011-2013 with the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Community and Civic Engagement Initiative in the College of Liberal Arts continues to organize meetings and work sessions at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Notasulga on topics related to academic, personal, and workforce success.
Written by Blake Evans, College of Liberal Arts Graduate Assistant
Last night, Macon County students gathered for the third Macon Citizens Group meeting of the academic year. They participated in a comprehensive, intense business workshop designed to develop skills related to resume-writing, interviewing, and public speaking.
The resume-writing session encouraged the students to think about the attributes and skills they possess that could comprise their resume. Students realized that through participating in sports and volunteering for odd-jobs, such as baby-sitting, they were actually equipping themselves with experiences which cultivated important qualities like teamwork, small-group communication, and responsibility.
For the interviewing round of the workshop, parents and volunteers acted as employers, and they held mock interviews for the students. The mock-employers asked questions such as, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and, “Why should you be hired?” Through answering questions such as these, students gained valuable experience which should translate into success during real, life-changing interviews.
The third aspect of the business workshop was public speaking. The students received advice about how to deal with the pressure and anxiety of speaking in front of audiences. Furthermore, they practiced their newly-learned public speaking tips by performing impromptu speeches about inanimate objects they randomly pulled out of a bag. For example, one student gave a speech about the benefits of orange juice after he selected an empty juice bottle.
Through taking advantage of this fast-paced, comprehensive business workshop, Macon County students improved skills which will be highly important to them as they begin selecting colleges and entering the workforce. In today’s competitive world, well-designed resumes, interviewing skills, and public speaking experiences are essential to being attractive candidates for colleges and jobs. Last night was a giant step in the right direction for several Macon County students.