LA PUENTE, CA – Nueva Vista High School junior Sal Reyes clutched his resume and cover letter in his hands before going into a mock interview, mentally reviewing the advice he learned from his teachers: be confident, establish eye contact and speak in a clear voice.
Reyes was one of 30 Nueva Vista students who participated in mock interviews with Bassett Unified staff, concluding the school’s inaugural career week on March 9.
“I thought the interview went well,” Reyes said. “I could have chosen better words, but I was nervous. But now I do feel more confident about applying for a job.”
Reyes, who aspires to be a firefighter, began his interview by getting a laugh out of interviewer Jose Valles, an Information and Educational Technology (IET) computer tech. Reyes then talked about how his experience playing basketball instilled in him the importance of teamwork and looking out for his teammates.
“Nueva Vista students identified the need for career path assistance, as many of them are already trying to join the work force and becoming frustrated over the application process,” Nueva Vista Intervention teacher Jessica Estrada said. “Career Week provides support and resources for students looking to take their first big step toward adulthood.”
The mock interviews provided practice for students to strengthen their communication and interview skills, while offering feedback on how to improve their chances of being hired. The interviews were conducted by Bassett Unified’s IET team, which graded students on all facets of the interview process, from how they responded to interview questions to word pronunciation and the logical flow of their thoughts.
Nueva Vista teachers worked with students to create resumes that will make prospective employers take notice, offered guidance on writing brief but compelling cover letters that successfully outline their goals and ambitions, and offered advice on making a positive first impression.
Students also learned from industry professionals such as law enforcement officers and sheet metal workers about the importance of finding career paths that are challenging, sustaining and a good fit for their lifestyle.
“Nueva Vista students learned valuable skills that will help guide them in their career path, as well as provide them greater success in gaining employment in industries that want to be involved in,” Bassett Unified Interim Superintendent Debra French said. “Nueva Vista students are investing in their future, while applying the skills and knowledge that they’ve learned at Bassett Unified.”
041118_BASSETT_NVMOCK: Director of Information and Educational Technology Gabriel Rivera (left) prepares to interview a Nueva Vista student on March 9 as part of the school’s inaugural career week.