Day three is coming to a close, and I think I can safely speak for the rest of the group by saying this has been the most rewarding day yet. This morning we started what we came here for: to share our job skill and entrepreneurial knowledge with the students at ITVET in Orange Walk. Our jobs skills group was the first to present this morning. We started off with an icebreaker so that we could all get to know each other better. We required our 30 students to stand up, say their name and field of study, and one interesting fact about them. They were shy and slightly intimidated at first, but our group worked hard to ensure our pupils that we were students just like them. Our topics today included cover letters, resume writing, interview skills, dressing professionally, and thank you letters. In our resume portion of the workshop, we used a laptop and a projector and created a mock resume right in front of the students. We felt like using a real example and walking them through the creation process was the most effective way for them to learn. At the end of each topic, various members of our group would jump into the conversation and add personal experience and stories. For instance, in the discussion of cover letters, I gave the students real-life tips that have helped me secure jobs and internships. Here is a picture of our job skills team at work:
Hands down, our students are what made this the best day here so far. We presented a lot of dense information today, and touched some topics that many of them are unfamiliar with. And even though some of the information may have gone over their heads, these students never lost eye contact with us. They were engaged and excited the entire afternoon. That gesture proved to us that these students truly do appreciate the work we are doing here in this country, and it reinforced and strengthened the vision of this project for all of us. The entrepreneur group gave their introductory presentation after lunch, and also used interactive workshops to better engage with the students.
Everyone involved in this project did an outstanding job today! Before dinner we had a group meeting and shared our experiences of the day, and what our highs and lows have been so far for the week. Surprisingly, after only spending one full day with them, the thing people were most dissatisfied with was the fact that we wish we had more time with our students. That is what the McCombs Leadership Program is truly about. And that is why we believe this project will be successful. We are a group of students that are sacrificing a large part of our Spring Break, the last Spring Break many of us will ever have, and dedicating it to the education of citizens in a foreign country. And while yes, Belize is beautiful and we have some time to see what the country has to offer, this is not a tourist trip. We are business professionals representing not only the McCombs School of Business and The University of Texas, but we are a reflection of the Unites States to these students. That is why this project is such a huge honor for us, and why we are so excited about what is going on here this week!
FYI: There is a Facebook group for our Leadership Program that is being updated with a lot more pictures than I'm putting on here. Here is the link to that: