Big Picture South Burlington students, staff, and local business leaders engaged in real-world learning on September 6. 


Big Picture Students Learn Real-World Skills

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Thursday October 03, 2013

Interview practice and resume review were on the menu of an event held recently at Big Picture South Burlington, as local business leaders partnered with high school students to enhance real-world learning.  Students easily recognized the value of the September 6 event.

“The feedback I received from the business leaders has become a resource for how I will present myself to people in an interview,” noted Cade Goodspeed, a junior in Big Picture.  Senior Kindra Lundie believes the experience prepared her “to be ready to go out and speak to professionals in the community,” while senior Brittany Manos added, “The event was a great way to not get rusty with my people skills and poise when around perspective internship placements.”

Big Picture South Burlington is “an innovative school within South Burlington High School where students work one-on-one with faculty to design their own individualized curriculum based on their passions, skills, and goals. Students learn through internships, independent projects, workshops, travel, and group experiences” (www.bigpicturesb.net).

“Big Picture enables its students to thrive and succeed,” noted Chuck Pizer, Vermont Public Television Community Engagement Director and a participant in the event.  “I am so very impressed with these students and with their dedicated educators.”

Mr. Pizer further explained that he saw “real education” at work on September 6, while Securities Examiner Bill Carrigan of the Vermont Securities Division praised “the seriousness with which the students undertook the interviews and also their willingness to accept feedback and suggestions.”

“I feel that it is important for local businesses to partner with our schools and to assist in any way we can to help prepare our students for the next steps in their educational and professional development,” explained Steve Loyer, president of South Burlington businesses TechGroup and TechVault, as to why he took part in the day.

Lexi Forkas, Big Picture senior, felt the event prepared her for those next steps: “At the beginning I was really nervous, but as time went on I realized I just had to be confident and honest with myself.  I think that’s the number one thing to remember when going to an interview.”

Sophomore Shelby Reposa agreed and gave credit to the positive approach of the adult guests:  “The interviewers were very helpful and kind with sharing their pointers which I am incredibly grateful for.”  

“The mentors were so generous in coaching students how to be professional in interviews, and the students really rose to the occasion,” observed Jason Cushner, Big Picture Program Coordinator.  “These real life events bring out the best in them.”

The feeling of gratitude was mutual, noted Vicki Porter, Practice Supervisor for Vascular and Trauma Surgery at Fletcher Allen Health Care:  “It is so rewarding for me to work with these bright and amazing students with endless possibilities for their future.  South Burlington High School is right on with the Big Picture program, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

For more information, please contact Big Picture Program Coordinator Jason Cushner at Jason.cushner@bigpicturesb.net or 802.881.3606.

SOURCE: Susie Merrick, Contributor