One of the most common complaints about education is the lack of practical application. Students and, sometimes parents, wonder what the value is in learning names and facts when these bits of knowledge don’t translate into higher education or the workplace.
“Not a lot of people have this opportunity to prepare for the future,” said Jewel Theus, a Junior in the Business and Entrepreneurship Academy at John Muir High School.
John Muir High School in Pasadena is tackling this issue head on with their Business and Entrepreneurship Academy; Arts and Entertainment Media Academy and Engineering and Environmental Science Academy. These programs give students a chance to interact with community professionals and learn skills that have applications beyond high school.
“All of our academies allow students to better understand how what they’re doing can be used in their lives,” said Principal Sippel.
This past week was Business Week where students work shopped their resumes and participated in mock interviews with local businesses. The school partners with the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce to integrate community members, like the Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union, in the program.
“It’s great to see the community benefit,” said Amy Foell, Workforce Development Manager at the Chamber of Commerce.
The Business and Entrepreneurship Academy students learn how to behave in a businesslike manner, present themselves professionally, create a working resume and prepare for interview questions. After participating in Business Week, students felt more confident in interviews and better able to talk about themselves in a professional setting.
“Students learn not just the technical skills but also the communication skills they need to express themselves – it’s so gratifying to see,” said Judy Turner, Work Based Business Liaison.
As part of the Business Academy, students run a virtual enterprise in their senior year and participate in internships at local businesses like the Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union. The summer internship program gave students a chance to observe different leadership styles and interoffice relations. The credit union is looking forward to working closely with students for their next cycle of summer interns and for the opening of the student run branch of the credit union in John Muir High School.
“We want them to dream bigger,” said Andy Tien, Vice President of Marketing at the Pasadena Service Federal Credit Union. “I wish I had something like this when I was their age.”