Career Education and Work

Career Acquisition 101

Objectives – 80% of students will complete the objectives with a minimum of 80% competency.


  1. Create a career portfolio — an individualized collection of material — to be used for mock job interviews and DECA competition
  2. Create a resume, a cover letter and a follow-up thank you letter according to current industry standards
  3. Demonstrate appropriate interview behaviors in a simulated job interview according to teacher criteria
  4. Structure answers to job interview questions using STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, Result)


Examples of EQ's used throughout the unit.

Examples of EQ’s used throughout the unit.

Per PA Standards Aligned System

Activities/Assessment: The career portfolio is comprised of the following items:

Personality Test

The Carl Jung personality test helped students gain an understanding as to who they are — the results were exciting because they indicated not only their career and personality type, but also which famous people they are most like. Some of my students learned they are most like Nelson Mandela. Ironically, we were able tie-in current events with the project when we learned of his death in early December. Nonetheless, students were preempted to use the results to answer the all important interview question, “Tell me a little bit about yourself.” The students were coached to construct their answer by incorporating the results into their response.

Student exhibition - Career Cluster/pathway Activity

Student exhibition – Career Cluster/pathway Activity

Career Pathways and Clusters

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of the project was this activity. Student’s results for the career were clear, for example, Business Administration. However, in order to obtain a career in Business Administration there are a few jobs in which one must obtain experience before moving up the ladder, so to speak. Clarifying questions lead me to believe that it was unclear what the other rungs of the ladder included. Perhaps because the answer required some researching and reading. It was not always clear cut. For these reasons the students lost momentum on this activity. To steer the ship back on course I tried interjecting a personal anecdote. I want to be a university career and technology education instructor. This is the career. The pathway is what I take to get there. For instance, I taught at a community college for two years, and I am presently teaching at a high school. I am on the pathway to get to the ultimate career. The students will need more than just my personal career aspirations to transpire an “ahh-ha” moment, but I believe that it will happen sooner than later.

Student exhibition - Job Outlook activity via

Student exhibition – Job Outlook activity via

Job Outlook

Students conducted a job outlook via They simply placed their career choice into the search field and researched several components of the job such as, education and training, earnings (high and low) and the job’s outlook — how is it growing in this economy.  Students placed information into a visual chart using Web 2.0 tool called Graphic organizers bode well in the curriculum and the visual aesthetics appeal to the marketing students as well as the interviewers. The eye-catching color and flow allowed the interviewer to ask questions based on the model constructed in a new and novel way (by the students).

Student exhibition - Business Cards using Microsoft Publisher

Student exhibition – Business Cards using Microsoft Publisher

Business Cards

Students created business cards with pertinent contact information. The business cards were created in Microsoft Publisher, an Office tool which — in of itself — is essential to any job seeker’s skills/qualifications. The user-friendly templates enabled students to matriculate the process individually or in small groups. Peer-teaching also resulted as a result of discovery learning and independent exploration. Moreover, the cards were meant to be used at the end of the interview. Students were coached to close out the interview by doing the following: make eye contact, smile, give a firm handshake and exchange business cards. These gestures are a formality that are intended to help the student build his/her personal brand as well as jump start the game of networking. Marketing is branding and when it comes to marketing oneself, a business card is an essential marketing tool.



Career Week – a time for real-world simulation and practical application

Tying a tie competition

Tying a tie competition

Monday – A ‘How to Dress for Success” presentation was the kickoff to Career Week. A representative from Men’s Warehouse  presented tips on how to ace the interview.

Tuesday & Wednesday – Mock Interviews were conducted by business professionals who so kindly donated their time to conduct mock interviews with the students. The scenario: Students were applying for a sales associate position at Macy’s. The interviewers set up in a separate room off to the side of the theory room. First, they took the student’s application and resume for review.

Student participates in mock interview

Student participates in mock interview

Secondly, the interviewer invited the interviewee into the interview space. The interviewer was given a sheet of questions as well as a score sheet. The students were scored on their resume, application and interview. This portion would not have been possible without the help from:

  • Miss Kathy – Hotel, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Miss Erin – Hotel, Hospitality and Tourism
  • Mr. Allen – Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Mr. Howard – Harrisburg Area Community College
  • Miss Amber – McCann School of Business and Technology
  • Mr. Smith – Co-op Coordinator Dauphin County Tech School
  • Mrs. Johnson – Co-op Coordinator Dauphin County Tech School

Thursday DECA competition

Friday – recap and celebration social to reward students for a great performance as well as kickoff the upcoming, much anticipated holiday break.