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SEHS seniors get career tips virtually

SLEEPY EYE — A couple dozen Sleepy Eye High School Career & College Readiness class students participated in a virtual meeting with an online platform Wednesday.

Avenica Managing Director Ashley Fogarty said students were eager to learn about how to research the job market and prepare for job interviews.

“Students can research companies by viewing their websites and finding reviews on glassdoor.com and indeed.com and network with people on linkedin.com,” Fogarty said.

Linkedin.com is a business and employment-oriented online service that uses websites and mobile apps, often used for professional networking, besides allowing job seekers to post CVs and employers to post jobs.

“I told students to be prepared for their job search by doing research by searching social media for company culture and personalties,” said Fogarty.

Regarding resumes, she urged students to use action verbs in their resume bullet points, not be afraid to brag about themselves, and write about their own experiences and what school activities they participated in to help them find out what they’re looking for a job.

“Students should list accomplishments they are most proud of and say something about themselves including interests outside of work,” Fogarty said.

She said health care is a hot job field right now and that customer support jobs are very plentiful.

“The biggest thing is to be prepared to show your stuff. Be specific and tell why you are the best fit for a position,” added Fogarty. “Students should keep their options open and explore many avenues that interest them.”

Class instructor Sandy Brinkman said there is an amazing group of local and area businesses that have been extremely supportive of providing students with authentic experiences that help them learn more about a career, themselves, interviewing, and the work environment.

“Although we have had to rethink some of those experiences due to COVID-19, we still have many business professions willing to share their expertise in other ways,” said Brinkman.

She said the class covers the importance of communication skills, personal qualities, and other skills relating to work responsibilities.

“There is an emphasis that each student’s career path is unique and their own,” Brinkman added. “Students spend time researching, comparing and evaluating information on a variety of traditional and non-traditional careers based on individual needs. Students revise, implement, and maintain a plan to support career goals.”

Class time is also spent on budgeting, housing, and money management.

Class students included McKenna Strong and Stephenie Fernandez.

Strong said the Avenica visit answered her questions on how an anxious high schooler should go into an interview. Strong said she plans to study human resources at Minnesota State University, Mankato, earning a bachelors and masters degree before joining the corporate world.

“Since we’re living in a pandemic, a lot of businesses and companies have switched to doing virtual interviews,” Strong said. “It’s important to be comfortable doing those.”

Strong is active in high school volleyball, hockey, softball, cheerleading, class play, band and FFA in high school. She talked about possibly playing intramural sports at Mankato while focusing on school and work.

Fernandez plans to major in early childhood education at MSU Moorhead.

“Due to everything being virtual now, it’s important that we get all aspects about the job and interview process,” Fernandez said. “We shouldn’t allow unfortunate circumstances to limit our resources. Interviewing is a skill everyone should master. I believe even after the pandemic is over, online interviews will still be a popular choice.”

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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