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Popular PWHS elective prepares students for the future

Popular PWHS elective prepares students for the future

In the Large Group Instruction room at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, more than a dozen students were dressed to the nines, resumes in hand, waiting to interview for a job as a Customer Service Associate at Wawa. While the nerves were real, the mock interviews were part of their Honors Career and Financial Management class. 

“You’re always nervous for an interview, no matter how old you are, so the more preparation the better,” said Amy Ebel, a parent in Colonial who volunteered to interview students. Mrs. Ebel has interviewed approximately 100 people in her 25-year career at GlaxoSmithKline.

Students interviewing with business professionals in the LGI

In class, the students talked about the importance of making eye contact, engaging with their interviewer, and speaking professionally during the interviews. To help focus their answers, they also learned the STAR method.

“STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Results and is a way to respond to behavioral questions that helps you focus and keep from rambling,” said teacher Beth Rickard.  

Each student had approximately 15 minutes with a business professional from the community that included time for feedback about how the interview went. 

“I liked just getting the practice, and I got a lot of extra tips for the future and for real-life interviews from my interviewer,” said PWHS senior Mokeira Gekonge. “It was really helpful.” 

“I wish I had this back in high school, where I could sit down with a parent who was in the workforce for 25-30 years,” said Philadelphia Police Officer Francis Lynch, one of the volunteer interviewers. “I think it’s a really great thing.”

In the popular elective, students also write resumes and cover letters, study loan applications and credit scores, learn about retirement planning, talk about goal setting, and discover potential careers that match their interests.