Como Park Students Strengthen Career Development Skills

November 27, 2017 08:04 PM

The gymnasium at St. Paul's Como Park High School was filled with hundreds of volunteers and students hoping to strengthen career development skills on a recent Thursday.

It's the kind of event human resources managers say is needed. They say new hires are often not well prepared to enter the workforce.


For Como Park seniors Robert Adams, Tu Lor Eh Paw and Janeijha Jones, having a speed networking event in their high school gym was a time to pick the brains of business mentors.

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"They're here to share their wisdom about how they got there, and what you should do in college to prepare you for real-life work," Paw said.

Wells Fargo volunteers filled the gym. The company is partnering with Junior Achievement to sponsor the program - called JA Inspire.

"To help them see their future, bring the workforce into the classroom," Darin Zielsdorf of Wells Fargo said. "It's something that I don't think a lot of kids get that opportunity. They kind of have to figure it out on their own a little bit."

After the speed networking, seniors worked on case studies and juniors on cover letters.

For Jones, it's not even about finance. In fact, she wants to study chemistry. But she said there are important skills she's learned that will help her no matter what she pursues.

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"The communication skills we get are huge because a lot of young people in this era don't know how to talk to people or approach someone,"  she said.

And the volunteers get something, too.

"They're not all going to be bankers, but if we can give them some advice on how to follow their dreams, what to do after high school, that feels pretty good," Zielsdorf said.


Jessica Miles

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