FALCONER - A liberal arts education can teach someone many things, but how to prepare for a job interview is usually not specifically one of them.
In fact, so many high school and college students find themselves so encumbered by academics that career preparation takes a back seat until their formal education is finished.
However, Junior Achievement believes that by getting students interested in potential career fields before they reach college, those students will be much better prepared for the world outside of their educational institutions.
Sean Kilmartin of Cummins Engine looks on as a workforce panel answers questions about their jobs for Falconer students.
P-J photo by Remington Whitcomb
Recently, Falconer Central School's eighth-grade class gathered at the Falconer United Methodist Church to attend a Junior Achievement lunch.
At the lunch, the students had the opportunity to ask a panel of local workers about their occupations and job responsibilities.
Examples of some of the questions that the students asked were: What do you like about your job? How many hours do you work in a week? What inspired or interested you to do the job you do? What was your favorite subject in high school? What is the most challenging part of your job? Do you enjoy your job?
The panel, which consisted of a variety of workers, kept the students entertained and gave them some insight into their occupations.
"I had the chance to talk to some of the kids at the table I sat at, and they had very positive things to say about the lunch," said Diane Schroeder, Junior Achievement special events coordinator. "There's a lot of support for this program in the area, because of (Cathy Moots, home and careers teacher at Falconer) and the students really enjoy it as well. Work preparedness and skills is something that is being transitioned into high school classrooms, and Junior Achievement is really expediting that process.
"I think if you just look at the youth around you, I'm not sure if they have a true concept of entrepreneurship or how the stock market works," continued Schroeder. "We're not sure if they have that real-world connection, but I think they need it. I recently talked to someone who said their children didn't know what paper money was - they had never seen their parents use it. That's an extreme example, but preparation for a generation which will eventually be running our country is never a bad idea. I'm thankful these students are as enthusiastic as they are."
"It's hard to realize exactly what responsibilities are required for some jobs," said AnnaLee Alexander, a Falconer student who would like to become a mental health director.
"A lot of people (on the panel) had jobs that weren't in the fields they studied in college," said Mykelia Cote, student at Falconer. "It's made me realize that you can do a lot of things with a college degree."
Moving forward, representatives of Junior Achievement will continue to visit Falconer Central to offer lessons. Additionally, a fundraising Bowl-A-Thon will be held by Junior Achievement at Jamestown Bowling Company on April 20 at noon. For more information, contact Schroeder at 853-1385.