Senior Prep Day
On Nov. 16, Corinth High School (CHS) hosted Senior Prep Day, a day for CHS seniors to interact with local professionals in preparation for their future. The day opened with a talk from Kim Ratliff followed by three sessions including mock interviews, etiquette lessons and Fab Life, a finance game.
Ratliff, a bi-vocational pastor serving in the United Methodist Church and the City of Corinth, kicked off the day with a speech titled, “How to get a job and keep it.” His main points included how to be a person of energy, experience, education and ethics. He recommended finding a mentor, taking advantages of opportunities to grow, being trustworthy and having passion and energy for whatever work you do. He also stressed having a willingness to work when you are needed and to take pride in your work, whatever your job is.
Over 44 local professionals were involved in making this event a success. “I cannot say enough how much I appreciate our local professionals jumping in and participating in this event,” said Kasey Atkins, Career Coach at CHS. “The support we have in our community is amazing. A special thank you to those who traveled from Columbus, Tupelo and South Pontotoc to show their support for our students.”
The mock interviews were a common favorite session among the students. Students provided their resumes and an application to local professionals and then were interviewed for 20 minutes. After the interview, the professionals were able to give instant feedback to the students. “My favorite part was the mock interviews where we sat down with individuals who interview others on a regular basis,” said Arlyana Hopkins, senior. “I really enjoyed how we were able to get one-on-one feedback and tips for the future. It personally helped me gain confidence in regards to my capabilities now and in the future.”
For the local professionals, it was a joy to be around the students. “This was my first time to be a part of such an event. The interview process was practical and helpful. The one-on-one interview setting had to be a first for most," said Randy Long, president of Long Wholesale Distributors, Inc. "I enjoyed hearing about the students' dreams and aspirations. Corinth High School continues to be innovative in preparing students for their futures."
In addition to the mock interview, students learned about what to wear to an interview, how to prepare a resume and how to shake hands with potential employers. “The dress code for interviews surprised me. I was aware that certain attire was required, but I did not completely understand the reasons behind why dressing in a particular manner was so important,” said Hopkins. “I now have a good understanding of the dress code and why following it will be beneficial whenever I go through interviews in the future.”
During the etiquette session, students learned about business table etiquette and social media do’s and don’ts. Hearing from young professionals about the potential detriment of poor social media behavior on future job opportunities was powerful. In the Fab Life finance game, students went to different stations to complete a budget. They saw how much things like car payments, car insurance, mortgage payments and health insurance added up, even to the point where they didn’t have money left over in their budget to purchase their favorite streaming tv subscription.
Overall, the students learned many valuable lessons during Senior Prep Day, including how to professionally interact with adults. “As these students prepare for graduation, it is important to learn how to engage with individuals who have been in the real world,” said Atkins. “It is hard meeting new people and I could not be more proud of our students for stepping out of their comfort zone and really putting forth the effort.”
Also, students in the Corinth Culinary Arts program provided both breakfast and lunch for the 44 volunteers including a ham croissant, green salad and fruit. As their second professional catering gig, these students had the opportunity to show off their skills and talents.
With the success of Senior Prep Day, the event is scheduled to become an annual event for seniors.