On Monday, October 26, and Wednesday, October 28th, over sixty sixth graders and thirty seventh were among the applicants interviewing for positions such as DJ, CEO, designer, non-profit director, engineer, and reporter, among many more. Nine students prepared campaign speeches urging citizens to vote for them as mayor this November.
Don’t worry, they will receive training before undertaking these positions! In fact, these students are receiving very valuable training for their futures as participants in Junior Achievement’s BizTown, an educational program that enables students to learn economic concepts in an interactive, hands-on environment. In December, students will travel to BizTown, a “city” within Junior Achievement’s Maplewood headquarters, where they will use what they have learned over the course of twelve weeks about managing money, businesses, and time, trying out potential careers and working as a team to build a strong and prosperous community and economy.
In the past couple of weeks, students explored their skills and interests, weighed career options, and learned about filling out an application and preparing for an interview. District staff members from outside of Northeast Middle School came to conduct the interviews as realistically as possible, pushing students out of their comfort zone and challenging them to reflect on what employers are looking for in an employee.
Overall, the students felt their interviews went well, with a few hesitations. A seventh grade boy said, “My interview was a little scary because I was shy. I did well by clearly explaining that I’m good for this job.”
What did they learn about applying for jobs and building careers? Another seventh grader said, “It’s not going to be easy and it helps if you have experience.”
Students will find out their job placements in the next couple of weeks. Until then, they have their fingers crossed, hoping their firm handshake, examples of personal experience, and passion for art, music, mathematics, science, and writing showed through to their interviewers.