A job fair co-sponsored by Western Nevada College Fallon, the Churchill Economic Development Authority and Churchill County High School provided students on Wednesday with a wealth of knowledge on different careers and prepared them for future interviews.
Sherry Black, director of WNC Fallon, said this was the first year for the event and said her goal is to make it an annual event for students.
“We wanted to provide students with knowledge on what employers are looking for in a variety of different fields,” Black said. “We also wanted to give the students a chance to have mock interviews so they could have an idea what one would be like.”
The students participated in different events such as attending a discussion presented by a panel of professionals who have Career and Technical Education, workshops, mock interviews and a fashion show that instructed attendees what to wear to interviews.
Black said when the committee chose the panel of professionals, it was important to bring in people from different industries. She said a professional from the food industry participated as well as professionals from the health field, the Navy, private industry, government, construction, agricultural and manufacturing.
The panel answered questions provided by the students that dealt from the hiring process to resumes.
Naval Air Station Fallon Command Master Chief Bob Anderson said the Navy looks for individuals who are willing to learn. He said the Navy works with people to find what interests them and then provides the training and skills that they need to succeed in their field.
Mark Feest, general manager of CC Communications, said references on resumes are taken with a “grain of salt” for his company. He said want his company seeks is how well resumes are set up, the person uses proper use of grammar and spelling, and if the job seeker took the time to fill out the application properly.
“We look at skills test that we ask applicants to take,” Feest said. “I always say ‘everything is a job interview, everyone one you meet.’”
Students were encouraged by Anna Lisa Laca, owner of Great Basin Sheepherding Company, to use common sense when deciding on the placement of a tattoo or piercing.
CEO Hoyt Skabelund of Banner Churchill Community Hospital told students any work is worthwhile if it’s honest work.
“Don’t do it for the pay check,” he said. “You need to make sure you have passion, purpose and heart for the career path you choose. Have a positive attitude as well. Make sure you smile … smile during the interview and while you’re on the job.”
Skabelund also encouraged students to practice at home before arriving for an interview.
CCHS junior Katelynn White said listening to the panel was a great learning experience. What she took from the panel was not to be jumpy during an interview and to try everything out.
“I was very glad to hear the group talk about college not being for everyone,” added student Ashley Marie Saccucci.
After listening to the panel of professionals, students relocated to WNC for workshops and mock interviews. Each student attended four mock interviews consisting of six minutes each. The interviewers were picked because they are “leaders of the community” from different fields, Black said.
“The interviewers had a rubric sheet for every student that allowed them to take notes on how students did during the interview,” she said. “The sheets were given back to the students with positive feedback too see what they did well on and what the could work on.”
Heidi Woolsey, a Federal Programs Title One secretary and Parent Involvement coordinator, said the main reason the students participate in the mock interview is to know what to expect when they go to a real interview. She said it allows for constructive criticism and gives the students confidence.
“If you watch the students in the mock interviews, you’ll notice from the first interview to the last interview, their confidence has grown and their body posture has changed with confidence as well,” she said.
Black said she believes the goal for the event was reached.
“We had more students than we expected and it seems like it was really well rceived from the students and the professionals,” she said. “We are also so thankful for everyone that helped organize the event and the professionals that worked with the students.”