With students preparing to start college and enter the workforce, one necessary skill that can perhaps only be learned through experience is how to master the interview process.
Business owners and community leaders helped students gain such experience with the 10th annual “mock interview” program hosted by the East Meadow Chamber of Commerce on May 3.
Roughly 55 students from the Academy of Finance classes at East Meadow and W.T. Clarke high schools sold their skills, spoke of their goals and touted their resumes while Chamber members gave them tips on how to improve and let them know if they “got the job.”
“It’s always successful and the students really benefit from it,” said Alan Hodish, who runs the program. “This year we had even more people volunteering from the chamber and some came from Kiwanis as well.”
The Herald interviewed Angela Koumas, a senior who hopes to break into the business management side of the music industry, and Stephanie Langan, a junior who seeks to use her business skills and creativity to pursue a career in marketing.
“I’m a leader, but with a creative side,” said Koumas, explaining her goal of pursuing business and arts management in college. “The music industry is very exciting with lots of opportunities. I’m specifically looking to work in management of music festivals.”
Koumas started high school by taking many marketing and accounting classes, but she said she didn’t want to lose sight of her passion for music and decided to combine the two pursuits.
“Right now I know I want to pursue business,” said Langan, when asked about her career goals. “As I’m exploring more classes in marketing, I really like the creative aspects of it as well. I have so many ideas that I’m learning how to put into action.”
Langan described her strengths as including creativity, organization and time management. She cited respective examples as including her long-term enrollment in art classes and her ability to balance college-level classes with extracurricular activities.
Asked about her weaknesses, Langan did not hesitate to say public speaking, but she added that she’s improving through public speaking classes and her involvement in her school’s Model Congress club.
Langan is one of a few students who took part in the mock interview program last year and volunteered to participate again, this time as a member of the East Meadow High School Business Honor Society.
“This program really helps build their confidence and exposes them to a professional experience outside of the classroom,” said Melissa Woisin, the advisor of the Business honor Society who also teaches the entrepreneurship class at East Meadow High School. “It’s teaches students to apply real-world skills beyond the textbook.”