Career exploration and successful interviews

4-H Exploration Days sessions provide opportunity to explore careers, build a resume and practice interview skills.

Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Exploration Days is one of MSU’s pre-college programs. For 2016, it will take place at the MSU campus in East Lansing, Michigan, June 22-24, with registration beginning in mid-March. I teach two five-hour sessions for teens to help them identify their interests and become successful at interviewing. This is done with the help of campus and off-campus staff in addition to the expertise of a variety of community volunteers that really enjoy sharing their experiences with young people.

The first session is called “Touch the Future Career Fair.” What will you do after high school? The first part of this session will feature a tour of the IQ Hub at the Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer facility in St. Johns, Michigan. Later you’ll explore career pathways that match your interests, skills and values. Learn how to enter the field of your dreams through career assessments, research and talking with professionals who will share information about their careers with you. Participants interview the professionals in this session to learn about jobs, careers and the skills that make people successful in the world of work.

Writing effective resumes and practicing interview skills are important pieces of the job hunt puzzle. The second session I teach is called “I Got the Job! Resumes and Interviews that Work.” In this session, discover what employers are looking for in resumes and learn how to write a resume highlighting all the life skills you have gained through your 4-H, work, school and volunteer experience. Teens create and leave with their resume in hand as a completed project. Participants also experience mock interviews with professionals, get feedback on answering difficult questions and learn how to make a positive first impression.

If either of these opportunities sounds of interest to you, consider joining me at 4-H Exploration Days. For other 4-H resources that may help you develop your career path, check out our career preparation materials.

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