31 May OrderMatic Hosts Annual Job Shadow
The average student spends 720 days or 1,000 hours attending school during their 4-year high school career. With this amount of time dedicated to preparing for life post-secondary school, the college application process and future job search shouldn’t be too daunting, right? According to a multi-year College and Career Readiness Survey conducted by YouthTruth, 87% of students hope to secure a degree and job after they graduate high school, but less than 50% feel prepared to do so.
Paul Crawford, OrderMatic Corporation President and CEO, noticed this reoccurring pattern firsthand while educating youth through various community programs at his local church. Crawford discovered that students were generally unsure of what to expect when starting the arduous process of applying for college and later searching for a job.
Noticing this need for further outreach, OrderMatic partnered with Junior Achievement (JA) – a non-profit that strives to inspire young people to succeed through various programs like the JA Job Shadow. JA Job Shadow exposes students to the challenges they will likely face post-graduation and gives them the opportunity to learn from seasoned professionals. Programs like this have positively impacted over 4.8 million students since 2015.
This May, OrderMatic and JA Job Shadow Program Manager, Mary Thomas, collaborated for a third year to host 20 students from Southeast High School with Oklahoma City Public Schools for an afternoon on the OrderMatic business campus.
The day’s agenda included a tour of the 11-building manufacturing campus, mock-interviews, as well as a series of workplace challenges that stressed the importance of professional and ethical decision-making. Based on their career interests, the students were paired with OrderMatic’s Directors of Production, R&D, Software Engineering, or Information Technology.
Vincent Servati, student, enjoyed this part of the visit. “Thank you for the trip to your facility. I got to learn about the mechanism your engineers are using for the pivoting canopy. I thought it was pretty neat.”
With a large pool of equally qualified students all vying for the same positions, Crawford also spent time offering suggestions on how to set yourself apart from the competition. Spellchecking resumes and cover letters are the obvious must-do’s, but the importance of creating a personal brand that differentiates you from the rest is crucial.
- Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. Zig Ziglar said it best “if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Taking the time to thoroughly research the level of education, technical and soft skills necessary to secure a position will help to remove some of the guesswork.
- The more internships, the better. Internships give you relevant work experience, set you apart from others who only have education experience on their resumes, and allow you to get your feet wet to determine if you could see yourself working full-time in a specific field.
- Volunteer. Donating your time gives you the opportunity to think outside of yourself and make lasting relationships.
- In interviews, “show me, don’t tell me.” Provide specific examples of how you are qualified for the position instead of simply restating what’s on the job description.
- Start building your network now. It is never too early to make connections that will benefit you when applying for college and future jobs.
These tips resonated with the students. Carlos Serna, student, said, “You all taught me a different perspective of business from finding the job to putting your ideas on the table. I feel more confident now looking for a job and I owe it all to you.”
Crawford and the OrderMatic team thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with the students and encourage other businesses to participate in similar programs. All of us at OrderMatic look forward to hosting again next year!