High school business class provides students with skills to use in real world situations
By Brit Milazzo
Public relations, BASD
Editor’s note: District Public Relations Director Brit Milazzo was part of a student interview project with high school business teacher Ryan Myers’ Transition to High School class. She is also the writer of this article for www.basd.net. Students from Red and White newspaper are responsible for the editing and headline, due to further conflict of interest with Milazzo as a writer and activity participant.
When Brayson Holderman walked into Bellefonte Area High School business teacher Ryan Myers’ class the morning of Oct. 29, she was dressed in business attire and appeared prepared for a job interview as a physician and general surgeon at WellStar Health System based in Atlanta.
The freshman wasn’t actually in a real-life situation, but instead was among a group of eight students in Myers’ Transition to High School class who participated in a mock interview process with school and community business leaders who asked students a series of questions, which they were required to answer based on preparation leading up to the interview. They were Myers; Stephanie Fost, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Centre County; Elaine Jerez, recruiter at Foxdale Village retirement community; Brit Milazzo, public relations director at Bellefonte Area School District; and Arlin Roth, instructional technology specialist at BASD.
It’s something students in fellow business teacher Andrew Weigold’s class also participate in, and are graded on appearance and poise, and skill presentation.
“I think the job interviews at this age have two important benefits,” Myers said. “The first is just to get some practice, so they know what to say and how to answers questions with detailed answers. The second benefit that I try to hammer home is for them to see what experiences they don't have and know that high school is a good opportunity to fill those holes in their personal experiences."
To prepare for the final interview, Myers said he allows students to create a resume and learn about general job-specific skills such as confidence, demeanor, what to wear, when to give a handshake and more. Much of the interview preparation focuses on the acronym SARB – situation, action, result and benefit.
“It’s really trying to get them to tell stories when they’re answering questions,” he said. “Without instruction, many students will give a very general answer. What should also come with that is an example that helps get to know them.”
The class, which is a one-marking-period elective, is aimed at providing students with soft skills and job readiness preparation, and also allows students to search for jobs, map out a high school plan and set goals.