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Setting the Stage for Successful Careers

For the last few weeks, five Infinite Energy employees have volunteered at Gainesville’s Buchholz High School to help students learn the ins and outs of finding (and keeping) careers.

Junior Achievement of Alachua (JA) runs the program. The group partners with businesses and educators to teach young people about career building, financial literacy and entrepreneurship.

Infinite Energy is a proud supporter of this group. And part of that support means we offer eight paid hours to each employee every year to volunteer with JA and similar educational partners.

One of this year’s JA volunteers is Infinite Energy’s Lindsey Y. We caught up with her to get the inside scoop on this latest endeavor.

So, what are you doing with students as part of the program this year?

We explored ideas about what employers look for and how to enhance those skills. We covered the Four Cs: communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. We talked about how all those skills are needed. And we talked about how those skills are rarely demonstrated by employees at a first job. We also discussed different strengths needed for different types of careers. The program is seven weeks long.

As someone who has been in the workforce for a while, did you get to talk about your own job experiences?

Yes! I got to share how my own career evolved from healthcare administration to computer science. And I talked about my experience as both interviewee and interviewer, as well as being a manager and handling different personality types. They seemed to especially like hearing about how I handled difficult situations.

Did you have a program like this when you were young?

No, but I would have loved to have had something like this in high school. I know it would have helped me, especially the information on interviewing skills and such.

So this makes a difference, you feel?

I think it will make a difference for the students who want it to. A lot of them took the feedback they received to heart. They wanted to know how to make their interview answers better, and they made adjustments to their resumes.

This is your first experience volunteering with JA. Did you enjoy it?

I loved this experience. It’s always cool to see students grow, and I think there will be great things from this program. I’m definitely planning on volunteering with JA in the future.

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