Mock interviews have been a key component of curriculum at Atlanta Public Schools Disctrict for many years. This was the first year Atlanta College and Career Academy implemented mock interviews; the 2020 school year posed a new challenge of moving the event online for the entire school.

Nicole Champion, a CTAE Pathway instructor, was the coordinator for this year’s event. She worked with colleagues Shante Mosley and Marion Cannon to make it meaningful for both students and industry representatives. Nicole contacted ACCA employer partners and board members of Atlanta Public schools. Through these connections, with the value of connecting education and industry, 190 corporate representatives volunteered to participate including Delta, Bank of America, United Way, and Wells Fargo.

“Ultimately it was a big deal. There were a lot of logistics involved and the coordination included lots of emails and scheduling to pair up students with volunteers. We had to have multiple breakout rooms because it was all done virtually.” – Nicole Champion

130 students prepared resumes and digital portfolios with information from their YouScience profile. Not only did they know which careers and industries were a great fit for them, they were able to speak knowledgably about their natural talent, career interests, and interpersonal style.

Shante Mosely, Dental Sciences Pathway Instructor, helped coordinate the creation of the digital portfolios. She created a template and rubric to help guide students with their designs and placement of their YouScience profile results – such as best-fit career pathways.

Marion Franklin-Cannon, Programming Pathway Instructor, constructed a digital ACCA Career Preparation Mock Interview Toolkit to further aid student preparation. This Tookit consisted of ‘how to videos’, tips for writing resumes and cover letters, an interview checklist, and additional supportive resources.

The feedback Nicole received from the industry volunteers was overwhelming.

“We got really good feedback from employers – constructive feedback. Everything from ‘Wow this kid is great, I would definitely hire them’ to ‘Okay, we need to work on these areas.'”

Some of the employers even offered to come into the classroom and assist the teachers in further developing their interview skills and resume writing.

For all involved, the event was a great success. Students experienced unprecedented access to, and feedback from, industry leaders. Those leaders were given the opportunity to participate in bridging the needs of industry with the output of education.

“Employers wanted to be part of it. We’re making sure that students will be ready for their career, no matter what stage of life they enter the workforce. They wanted to be part of ensuring these students have the skillsets needed to survive and become successful.”

4 Quick Mock Interview Tips:

Want to make meaningful connections between your students and local employers? Here are a few tips:

1. Give yourself as much time as possible to pull everyone together.

2. Do your research and choose the virtual platform that will work best for your needs.

3. Always have backups! Plan for multiple volunteers per breakroom in case a scheduling conflict arises.

4. Utilize everything your students have access to with YouScience! From building meaningful understanding with aptitude and career discovery, to validating skills and knowledge with industry-recognized certifications, YouScience empowers students to create impactful resumes, connections, and futures!

Want to learn more about YouScience? Schedule some time to talk with a Regional Director to learn more about how we can help your school create future-ready students.