Supporting Students at Second ConnectEd Career Workshop
World Education Australia (our parent organisation) works in partnership with YWCA New South Wales to deliver the ConnectEd program, Alcatel-Lucent Foundation’s global initiative to provide education and digital skills training opportunities for children and youth in disadvantaged areas.
In September, a number of Alcatel-Lucent staff took up one of their volunteer days to support young people through a career workshop on site at the Sydney office.
Many students had never seen the inside of an office and the aim of the first workshop was to introduce them to life in the workplace and work through some typical office tasks to help prepare them for life after school.
In early November it was time for part two, with the students returning to work with their mentors on specific activities that would prepare them for job interviews.
The day saw some returning mentors as well as some new staff members who were keen to help the students, all of whom have been identified as at-risk of disengaging from their education.
It was a fast-paced day with each mentor taking ownership of a workstation that covered personal presentation, telephone etiquette, research and interview preparation, mock interviews, resume writing or skills identification. As the students moved from station to station, they built on their skills and knowledge as well as their confidence and self-esteem.
Feedback from mentors included:
“I like events like these because for the kids it provides real life experience and they get the opportunity to speak to/learn from other adults (not only their parents or teachers). For me it’s a great change to my normal/daily work.”
“It was great to help students learn the basics of getting ready for an interview. A lot of things were new to them.”
“It was very rewarding to take part in this type of exercise.”
“The group were eager to learn, fun and attentive.”
Feedback from the students was that they really found Workshop 2 practical, and what’s more, they now feel more confident in applying for jobs.
- 100% of students reported that the mentors were friendly and supportive.
- 100% of students reported that the workshop helped them learn more about work life.
All students commented that they were particularly happy to have had the opportunity to write resumes – most of the mentees did not have these prior to the workshop, and this is something that will be extremely valuable to them in applying for work.
The work of Alcatel-Lucent staff in engaging these students and others on the ConnectEd program is vital in preparing them for the world of work, connecting them to their community, building their confidence and self-esteem and ultimately, helping them to reach their full potential.