Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) helped to run a Mock Interview Extravaganza, about which Robert Salonga recently wrote in the Mercury News:

When hundreds of seniors graduate from Independence High School this week, many will head to college or straight into the workforce.

Either way, thanks to an innovative student-training program, a good number of them will be especially ready to enter the fray.

Since August, 165 students have been methodically crafting resumes, drafting cover letters, assembling career portfolios, and working on their interview skills under the tutelage of English teacher Will Stegeman.

And as is usually the case in school, there was a test, in the form of the Mock Interview Extravaganza held on May 4 where students put all that work to the test in front of dozens of professionals from fields spanning technology, engineering, medicine, graphic design, law, police work, and an array of other occupations.[…]

Vy Nguyen, a program manager with the nonprofit […] Silicon Valley Education Foundation, helped spearhead the networking and logistics for the event. Students who participated in the program were matched with interviewers based on their career goals and inclinations, and underwent several rounds of interviews to sharpen their skills.[…]

Fernando Naranjo, 17, who had his mock interview with Google product design engineer Josh Lilje, commended the attention to detail demanded of him, particularly in answering questions with specificity and drawing from his life experiences. He said he benefited immensely from how the practice and final interviews threw him curveball questions to test his command of a topic.

“I got better at thinking off the top of your head and coming up with a good response,” Fernando said.

But above all, Fernando said he valued how the Stegeman’s project filled a valuable knowledge gap for him and his peers, in applying what they’ve learned over the years in a practical setting.

To read the full article, visit the Mercury News site here. Photo above courtesy of Will Stegeman