By MATTHEW KRISTOFFERSEN
Citrus Valley seniors prepared for mock interviews on Oct. 16 in the culmination of the AP English teachers’ job-readiness initiative.
“This is an interview in which we get to practice for transitioning into adult life, whether it is [for] college interviews or job interviews,” senior Nicole Lin says.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of a nearly semester-long adult crash-course. “We have to write a personal statement, a resume cover letter, a resume, a list of references, a professional thank-you letter, a job application that we have to fill out, our transcript, a photo personal statement, and [all] awards and certificates since 9th grade.”
Despite Lin’s plethora academic and extracurricular achievements, she said she was still “a little bit” nervous before the interview. She is not alone.
Senior Ryan Nguyen agrees: “I am still nervous, even though [Mr. McGrath] has prepared us, but I think I got it.”
And prepared them CVHS teacher Kenneth McGrath has. In addition to creating a senior portfolio, students learn to shake hands, make eye contact, and speak confidently with a potential interviewer. “I think [my students] are very well-prepared. I don’t really have to teach them that much about how to be personable,” the initiative’s mastermind admits, “They’re just really such top-level students that there’s not really a situation that they cannot thrive under.”
“This is extremely valuable for the future,” McGrath continues, “In fact, this morning, someone from Stater Brothers came up to me and…said that [Senior Interview Day] was very valuable for them and that’s how they got their job at Stater Brothers.”
Adrienne Zuniga, like many current and former interviewees, also plans to use her portfolio for real-world purposes. “I am probably going to use my resume, brag sheet and recommendation letters, of course, because those are really important for college,” Zuniga notes, “I am also interested in working at Chick-Fil-A in the near future.”
Once a key part of the graduating class experience throughout all Redlands high schools, only CVHS and RHS currently participate in this beneficial program. According to CV Principal Rhonda Bruce, the senior interview process will continue for the next class of graduates in 2018.
“We here at Citrus Valley like to stay on the cutting-edge,” says Mr. McGrath. “That’s why we continue to do this.”