Scarlett students learn how to handle job interview jitters on annual Portfolio Day

93 community volunteers made it happen

Story, photos, video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Shiny shoes? Check.

Resume in hand? Firm handshake?

Done and done.

Scarlett Middle School students were on their best behavior on the 24th annual Portfolio Day, a much-anticipated Scarlett tradition.

Ninety-three local business leaders volunteered to conduct one-on-one mock interviews with about 200 eighth graders, who showed off their newly created portfolios.

As much as possible, students were paired with professionals who matched their interests, whether that’s in medicine, media, education, finance, politics, technology, business, or more.

Have been preparing the students to prepare all the necessary ingredients of their portfolios, including resume, cover letter, and a letter of recommendation.

Scarlett Guidance Counselor Kelly Kellar said Portfolio Day makes learning comes to life.

“Our eighth graders have had the opportunity to develop their portfolios and participate in some real-life learning,” says Kellar. “It opens doors for our students so that they can begin thinking about  future paths they can follow.

“I hope that the volunteers see our students shine and realize how hard they have worked in the last several weeks preparing for this day. In the past years, I have had volunteers express how impressed they were with our students and that they have a very bright future ahead.”

Jason Liao said he interviews many prospective employees as an engineering manager at the automotive supply company Denso Ten. And many, he said, come in completely unprepared.

That’s why he was happy to volunteer for Portfolio Day for the first time Thursday.

“The interviewing process is important,” he says, “and too many kids graduate without really understanding it.“

Scarlett PLTW teacher Leslie Baugh said she hopes students realize the advantage Portfolio Day gives them.

“Having gotten this interview experience where there is a safe fail, they can learn from their mistakes and grow and improve,” she said. So when that time does come, and it will come fairly quickly, when they’re interviewing for their first jobs, they’ll go in with a little more confidence and with an expectation that maybe some of us who didn’t get this opportunity never had. That first interview was kind of a deer-in-the-headlights. So maybe they’ll be a little more relaxed and confident if they’ve been through that process.”

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