Fremont High School juniors attended the Oakland Unified School District Career Expo in mid-April at the Oakland Marriott City Center in Downtown Oakland.
Students circulated from table to table visiting a variety of booths ranging from community colleges, four-year universities and organizations offering internship and mentoring opportunities.
Those who attended loved having a diversity of opportunities for getting an internship. Bertha Saavedra, a junior in the Mandela Academy said, “It was really interesting to see a lot of teenagers our age looking at jobs and internships and other colleges.”
Fremont held a preparatory mock interview on March 29 to prepare students for the Expo. The school invited industry partners to interview students and evaluate them based upon their professionalism. “No other school had a mock interview like Fremont High,” said Wafa Faris, Fremont’s work-based learning liaison who is responsible for creating professional learning experiences for students such as internships, job shadowing, the mock interview and the career expo.
To prepare for the mock interview, students also printed out their résumés and researched the organizations in attendance.
During the career expo, students were encouraged to dress professionally but not all students had professional attire. Approximately twenty-two percent of students did not have professional clothes to wear for the Career Expo.
However, Fremont staff donated professional clothing to students. Ms.Torres, Ms. Bulman and Ms. Lockie donated the bulk of clothing. Students loved it and we’re happy with their new clothes.
Ms. Faris organized the professional clothing closet. She said, “My main goal [is to] get students to think differently about themselves.”
Gilbert Pete, Greg Cluster, Alcian Lindo, and Emiliano Sanchez were the four main organizers of the OUSD event. Pete handled all the industries partnerships that are in the city of Oakland, Cluster was the coordinator that ran the meetings and handled the internships, and Sanchez worked on getting transportation for the schools.
Ms. Lindo and Ms. Faris are work-based learning liaisons at specific school sites, such as Fremont. Ms. Faris said she expected it to be more hectic but she still felt the energy in the atmosphere. Overall, students represented themselves well and were professional.