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Preparing the Future

“How many of you have had a job interview before?” asks Melissa Vater, Program Coordinator at Genesys Works – Chicago. In a group of twelve juniors at Marie Sklodowska Curie Metropolitan High School, one hand slowly crept into the air among a sea of blank faces, eyes quickly darting from side to side looking at their neighbor’s answer. Melissa continued, “OK, just one. And, how many of you would be nervous interviewing at a professional company?” Not even a second after she finished the question, everyone’s hands darted into the air.

As part of the application process, hopeful candidates must interview with the Genesys Works – Chicago staff. For many of the students looking to join the Genesys Works program, meeting with the Genesys Works staff for an interview would be their first venture into the professional world. For most, it would be their first job interview.

In an effort to provide Chicago’s high school student population greater access to the professional world, Genesys Works – Chicago held their first Interview Preparation Meetings. Over the course of three weeks, the Genesys Works – Chicago staff travelled to their fourteen partner high schools to meet with those students invited to interview for acceptance to the program. In the preparation meetings, the staff took students through the interview process; giving tips and guidance on a wide range of topics including: what to wear and how to craft answers that will provide the best picture for the interviewer.

“I believe the Interview Preparation Meetings were a tremendous benefit to our Class 3 candidates. These meetings allowed students to interact with Genesys Works’ staff and helped calm students’ nerves. They gave them insight into a process most of them had never experienced before,” stated Margaret Stuckey, Program Manager at Genesys Works – Chicago.

For the upcoming 2012-2013 Class 3, the staff interviewed over 100 candidates over the course of a week. We were impressed.

“There was a noticeable difference between students who had been to prep sessions this year compared to previous years’ candidates,” stated Stuckey , “they were able to share their personal stories and make a lasting impression in their interviews.”

We are excited to help facilitate the professional growth of the group of talented students accepted to be Genesys Works – Chicago’s Class 3 Young Professionals.

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