For many teens, getting exposed to a real job interview situation and getting real feedback can be eye-opening.
The sixth annual career fair, held Tuesday at Foxborough Regional Charter School, drew about 200 6th- and 10th-grade students and 21 real-life career presenters.
During the fair, students participated in a pair of 30-minute group interviews, learned about careers and presented themselves as the best candidate for a fictional job.
One student from each group was then “hired” and invited to a business lunch immediately after the fair.
“The experience was immensely meaningful for me as well as the entire student body,” said Maya Chubet, 16, of Foxboro, who said it opened her eyes with a behind-the-scenes look at a variety of careers.
Elissa Cano, 16, of Attleboro, who landed a mock job working for a local theater, said she found the fair useful.
“I used this fair as a networking opportunity to meet people that I can work with in the future,” Cano said. “I also gained new experiences of speaking in a formal environment with adults.”
Aaron Jackson, 16, of Brockton said the event provided an opportunity to look into the future.
“This was an amazing experience for me to get better at what I want to do,” said Jackson, who also landed a mock job.
Students interested in the medical field welcomed a chance to interact with health care professionals like Stephanie Mattson, assistant clinical manager of hematology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who was on hand Tuesday to speak with students about common career paths in medicine.
According to Karen Harris, the charter school’s family engagement coordinator, the fair provides students an opportunity to experience the need for discipline and hard work as they strive for a future career.
Dave Elsner, guidance and school counselor department head, said the fair is an effective way of presenting a variety of career options, while emphasizing for students the need to prepare and act as an agent on one’s own behalf.
“Students learn that being self-reliant and self-motivated are critical to being the agent of their own best interest. These two elements, being prepared and taking action, are important in all career aspirations and success,” Elsner said.
Jan Carlos Gadreault, from the Rockland Trust branch in Foxboro, said he relished working with the teens.
“I wish I had this program when I was going to high school,” Gadreault said.