By DEVIN WEEKS
RATHDRUM — Shirts buttoned and tucked, hair neatly brushed, presentations ready to go and a friendly yet firm handshake to begin the interview process with a professional touch.
Mountain View Alternative School's seniors are now one step closer to making their way in the world after participating in their school's reverse job fair on Thursday.
"What I've learned about the career is electricians just aren't electricians," said Devin Beare, who looked snappy in a collared shirt and tie under a green jacket. "I used to think they just wired houses and stuff; the spectrum for being an electrician is so broad, you can do so many things. That excited me because I always like to learn things."
Each senior was required to choose a career and explore it through research and a job shadow experience, then present the research on a Chromebook during the reverse job fair. The seniors presented to professionals from the community who served as judges and evaluated the students on appearance, poise, delivery, language and response to questions in a mock job interview format.
Rather than a traditional job fair, where potential employees visit booths of different companies and ask about the jobs, the reverse job fair tasks students with knowing the ins and outs of their potential careers so they can field questions and show their knowledge about those careers.
"I really haven't been nervous about it," Beare said. "We've had a great teacher that's taught us how to deal with this interview this whole time. I came in here confident in this interview and with my presentation."
The reverse job fair/senior project, which is a graduation requirement for the state of Idaho, is organized by English and history teacher Krista Bullard.
"I think it was actually amazing to know what I want to do in the future," said Gavin Bruse, who is interested in a career in HVAC. "Miss Bullard really helped me out learning about this trade and seeing if I actually wanted to be in it. Seeing this and going through it, I want to be in it."
"It's going to make me confident," said Kyle Boesl, who researched a career in carpentry. "I'm feeling pretty good about it."
Bullard said she is so proud of her students and how much they can accomplish.
"I want people to know, and to support schools like ours, alternative high schools, that offer students that second chance because they need that," she said. "It's amazing to see them grow from a sophomore to a senior here. I am proud of them and what they can do."