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USMH students trained in advance for job fair

April 08, 2013|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com
  • DeAnna Atkinson of Hagerstown looks over a wage scale Monday with Mark Smith, personnel officer with the Washington County Department of Social Services, at a job fair at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — University System of Maryland at Hagerstown senior Samantha Sines is expecting to graduate this spring so she’s looking for a job.

In preparation for job interviews, Sines participated last month in mock interviews with business people who gave her feedback about how she was answering questions, what she was wearing, and about her resume, she said.

On Monday, Sines put what she’d learned to work as she interviewed for elementary school teaching positions with public school systems in Washington and Frederick counties.

“I think they went well,” said Sines, 22, of Hagerstown. Sines said if she hadn’t participated in the workshop, she wouldn’t have been as prepared for Monday’s interviews.

The downtown Hagerstown campus has held job fairs before, but this year it expanded the program to include workshops to better prepare students for the job fair, said Jamie Bushong, spokeswoman for University System of Maryland at Hagerstown.

The program, entitled “Ready, Set ... Go!” began in mid-March when approximately 45 university system students met with an area human resources director for an informal question-and-answer session, according to Bushong and a program flier.

In late March, about 24 students went through mock interviews with local business people, she said. Bushong compared it to speed dating with each interview lasting 15 minutes.

The business people provided the students written feedback, Bushong said.

The event culminated Monday with the job fair at the downtown university system building. Students were given access to the job fair first, then the fair opened to the public.

There appeared to be a constant line of students waiting for closed door interviews with Washington County Public Schools and Frederick County Public Schools.

Lauren Porter, 29, of Martinsburg, W.Va., said she interviewed for a Frederick County schools job, gave her resume to a Washington County Public Schools representative, and talked to someone with Berkeley County (W.Va.) Schools.

“I think it went pretty well,” said Porter, who is a student-teacher at Clear Spring Elementary School.

The job fair also had representatives from Meritus Health, Hagerstown Community College, Volvo, the U.S. Navy, Washington County Department of Social Services, HPG Windows and Doors, Citi, First Data, Sierra Nevada Corp., and the Washington County Free Library. Library officials were sharing information about resume and job application assistance the library can provide.

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