Twenty-eight local businesses answered the call for volunteers to come to James Cole Elementary School to set up a table and offer fifth graders a chance to practice their interview skills as part of the Cole Professional Academy Interview Day. Fifth graders began their Professional Academy Afternoon hearing from Tippecanoe School Corporation Assistant Superintendent of Personnel, Doug Allison, who offered interview tips and demonstrated a few practice interviews for the students. The classes then adjourned to the lobby and waited their turn - each student was provided with two ten-minute practice interviews from different local business volunteers. Students were then provided written feedback from the interviewers that would help them in future interviews. The Interview Day is part of a larger year-long initiative at James Cole Elementary called the Cole Professional Academy. The Professional Academy offers students an opportunity each month to learn from guest speakers about a variety of topics including "Dressing for Success", "Mentors", "Table Manners", "Living on Your Own", and "Funeral/Concert Etiquette". Students are also assigned a staff member mentor and have monthly assignments to complete to earn the status as a "Cole Professional" at a banquet in April.
"Our goal with the Cole Professional Academy Interview Day is to offer our students a chance to overcome some of the initial fears that accompany anyone who is interviewing for a job. It is wonderful to see the level of anxiety melt away between the first and second interviews as students gain confidence. This opportunity would not be possible without the support of so many of our local businesses. They are helping us in our mission to raise kind, productive citizens," stated Mike Pinto, Cole Principal.