Teens ready to impress bosses

COLAC and district teens are polishing their presentation this week in an effort to become more employable.

Two Beacon Foundation presenters are in Colac to teach Colac Secondary College Year 10 students how to impress at job interviews and network with businesspeople.

Beacon Foundation presenter Kendall Macdowell, right, is one of two experts teaching Colac Secondary College teens job interview and networking techniques. She is pictured with Bulla Dairy Foods’ Lucy Sudweeks, left, and student ambassador Maddy Mahoney.

The polish program presentations started on Monday and end today, involving about 30 students a day.

Beacon Foundation presenter Kendall Macdowell said the sessions, at Colac’s La Porchetta, were about building skills and confidence.

“Beacon as a foundation really develops programs which assist kids with job-ready skills,” Ms Macdowell said.

“In the polish program we focus on preparing for an interview – how to speak to your resume and also non-verbal communication, how to shake hands, how to make eye contact,” she said.

“We talk a lot about one-on-one interviews, there’s many different types of interviews, with an end result of helping them increase their confidence so they feel ready to be the best they can be.”

Students also learned table manners and had lunch with employees of Bulla Dairy Foods, which sponsored the program.

“We invite a handful of businesspeople to have lunch with them and we expect the students to be able to have a conversation with the businesspeople,” Ms Macdowell said.

Beacon student ambassador leader Maddy Mahoney said she was happy with the number of students who agreed to attend the sessions.

Maddy said topics included dressing appropriately, good hygiene, body language and etiquette.

“It’s preparing you so you’re not as nervous – like not fidgeting and being more open with your body posture, like you’re going to enjoy your interview,” she said.

Maddy said she also participated in last year’s polish program.

“I’ve been through a job interview before and thinking it through before my interview, I did use it, which was really good,” she said.

“I think it really helps, if you listen and pay attention I think you get a lot out of it.

“I think everybody’s enjoying it and we’ve had positive reactions.”

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