It’s been said that dedication and talent are traits of successful people. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s Culinary Training Program students had the chance to show off their dedication to making their lives better and their talent in the kitchen with Mock Interview Day. Mock Interview Day is when different companies volunteer their time to interview and critique the students as they prepare for a sustainable career in the food industry.
Leading up to the event the students are taught different interviewing techniques and how to create a resume as part of the life skills curriculum. “All of our life skills lessons lead to this moment. Interviewing and resume writing are two essential pieces to helping our students launch their new careers,” explains Idalia Nunez, Life Skills Education Manager for the Culinary Training Program.
June Clark, a Culinary Training Program student, explained, “I am so excited about the new changes that are going on in my life thanks to Second Harvest. The opportunity to recreate my life is amazing and is a good feeling. I know I can do something positive now. I’m looking forward to interviewing because it is another step toward a better life.”
The day began with the American Hotel and Lodging Association answering questions about the different opportunities, benefits, and potential career advancements within the hotel industry. This allowed students to get a better understanding of what to expect if they are offered an opportunity to work in a hotel setting. Students also gained insight into the types of questions or topics to address during interviews with potential employers.
Employers find Mock Interview Day beneficial as well. This is the first opportunity for companies to interact with future talent and nurture their career development. They also get to preview the students and consider them for upcoming positions within their organizations.
John Kingston, from Omni Hotels & Resorts explains, “I am here for three reasons, to help the students with their interviewing skills, build a stronger relationship with Second Harvest and, most importantly, to possibly hire some of the qualified candidates that would be a good fit for our company and our work environment.”
Marisabel Flowers from Rosen Hotels &Resorts added, “Our company is one that gives back. We want to build someone up. It’s our job to be understanding and work with those who are trying to grow.”
Marriott, Hilton Bonnet Creek, Life Care Centers, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Orange County Public Schools, Hyatt, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and Hilton Lake Buena Vista all interviewed students during Mock Interview Day. Second Harvest Food Bank is grateful to these community partners who invest their time in our students and go the extra mile to help make them successful.