On March 14th, eleventh-graders in the Birmingham City Schools Career Academies will have the opportunity to participate in the first Career Development Conference, sponsored by Birmingham Education Foundation and the Birmingham Rotary Club. At the Conference, students will participate in three break-out sessions on professional skills and sit for a live fifteen-minute interview with a local Birmingham professional. In preparation for the conference, members from Birmingham Rotary and the Urban League are visiting each Academy to relay to students some basic information about interviewing, and giving them an idea of what to expect and what to do.
This past week, students at in the Academy of Urban Educators at A. H. Parker High School heard from Rotary Club member Kennon Walthall about the importance of interview preparation and presentation. Walthall is the President of RDS, Inc. in Birmingham, and he relayed to the students the importance of using interview skills at anytime and anyplace during interactions with others and gave examples from careers in health, law, sales, and research. Walthall also told students that they should get to know the company with whom they are interviewing, be prepared to ask questions during the interview, and send letters to the interviewers thanking them for the opportunity. At the end of the presentation, students shared their own experiences in being interviewed and what they took away from it.
Similarly, Rotarian Kelly Bownes, founder and CEO of MedPlan Recruiting, spoke to students at Carver’s Academy of Health Sciences two weeks ago. At the beginning of the program, Bownes talked about the importance of a good first impression, and gave students pointers on body language, especially how to sit upright in a chair and give a good handshake. After sharing the information, Bownes shook hands with each student and delivered feedback n how to improve.
The Career Development Conference is part of Ed’s Educate Local programming and will take place March 14th 2014 from 9a-2p at the Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham. Approximately 200 students and 50 local professionals will participate in the event, and Cedric Sparks and Sanjay Singh will deliver the event’s keynote address during lunch.