Select Page

Virtual meeting with Rifenburg Construction

Eighth grade students are learning important career development skills in their Intro to CTE – Home & Career Skills class through meetings with local professionals. Earlier this month, students were joined virtually by two human resource directors and the president of the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce. The students learned about potential careers and what skills are required to obtain a job and succeed.

The special guests included:

  • Kate Manley, President, Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce
  • Kara Gilles, Human Resources Manager, Rifenburg Construction
  • Jessica Grant, Director of Human Resources, St. Peter’s Health Partners

In addition to conducting research about the organizations and preparing questions in anticipation of the virtual meetings, students discussed the steps to getting hired and succeeding in a job. They identified their own aptitudes and abilities on a Naviance interest inventory survey and explored career clusters and pathways of interest with a focus on the education, training and skills required for a variety of careers within each career cluster. 

“I am especially impressed with the work students do to develop their personal brand and elevator pitch, which are incorporated into the virtual experience,” said Goff FACS teacher Debreen Oliva.

The meetings were facilitated through the Questar’s Business & Education Partnership Opportunities service.

“Questar III’s Business & Education Partnership Service works with districts like East Greenbush Central School District to create collaborative engagement with business professionals to help bridge the gap between how what’s taught in the classroom applies in the real world,” said James Church, Director of Strategic Initiatives at Questar III BOCES.

“Whether working with faculty to connect educators and students with business professionals, supporting course development efforts like the recently introduced video game design course or recruiting members to join the district’s Business Advisory Council, this service is tailored to pursue opportunities based on administrator, teacher and/or student interests.” Mr. Church said.

Throughout the virtual meetings, students interacted with the guest speakers and were able to ask questions and demonstrate practical experience from class.

“We learned that you need lots of soft skills just to get a job,” said Ryan Ko. “For example, you told us how you need to be honest and dependable. You also said how we need to be responsible and mature.”

Jayden Calderon said that the experience helped him learn to be prepared and not to be so nervous when talking to someone new. He said, “When you said my eye contact was good it made me feel better about how I did.”

Special thanks to Kate Manley, Kara Gilles and Jessica Grant for participating in these virtual meetings!