On August 6th, 2014, Nine Goldman Sachs volunteers came to work with our students in a special Job Readiness event. The topic of the event was Networking, and creating an Elevator Pitch. The event took place in two sessions, one in the morning for our morning HSE and ESOL classes, and one in the afternoon for the Youth HSE class and the Pre-HSE class. Please click on the link to read more!
Bruni Torras, the Job Readiness instructor, gave a PowerPoint presentation introducing the topic of Networking. In between slides she asked members of the Goldman Sachs volunteer panel to talk about their job (they all had very different jobs at the financial firm), how they got to the job they were in, and if they ever got a job through someone they knew (networked). Later, a few of them came up and gave an example of an elevator pitch. Students were then asked to write their own Elevator Pitch (with an activity sheet that served as a guide), and the Goldman Sachs volunteers helped them. Once the speeches were written, student volunteers came up to present. The students who gave the best Elevator Pitches (according to audience clapping) got a prize – tickets to the Museum of the Moving Image, and a discount on snacks that are purchased at the Y!
In between sessions the Y provided lunch for the students, volunteers, and staff, so all had the opportunity to mill around and talk to one other (they got to network!). Many of the students stayed around to talk more with the Goldman Sachs volunteers, and asked them a lot of questions about their jobs.
The HSE and ESOL teachers that were present were impressed by the number of students who were willing to go up and present their elevator pitch. Though the activity was challenging, a good number of students felt confident and safe enough to put themselves out there. Students seemed to feel inspired by the presence of the Goldman Sachs volunteers – several of whom were immigrants themselves – talking about how they got into the careers that they are in, and the struggles they went through. Many students thanked us for the event. The volunteers also said that they had a very good experience and enjoyed working with us. They enjoyed being able to share some of their knowledge & experience with our students. Many expressed an interest in doing it again.