BTE Student Stories

Zoom Group shot

Each quarter, the Pathway to Success program hosts seminars with participants to develop their skills and provide support for their college experience. Continuing to highlight their dedication and commitment to college and career success, this January, our 32 Pathways participants from BTE alumni sites Phoenixville and Norristown, Pennsylvania; and Bound Brook, Trenton, and New Brunswick, New Jersey, engaged in a series of winter seminars.

The first series was hosted in partnership with FHI 360 and Career Focused Solutions, which conducted a two-day professional development seminar targeting resume and cover letter writing, crafting of elevator pitches, and developing your professional branding, which included the development of LinkedIn profiles. These activities help prepare and support Pathways youth as they begin applying to internship opportunities for the summer. During sessions, Pathways participants explored their strengths and developed value propositions. Using this information, participants were able to take a deep dive in exploring the STAR Method and crafting authentic interview responses that highlighted their personal strengths and experiences. Participants conducted 8 rounds of mock interviews in the form of behavioral based interviews, perfecting their STAR responses in the process. Johnson & Johnson employee volunteers contributed their support and mentorship during these sessions, providing constructive feedback and interview critiques. Career Focused Solutions concluded their seminar with a training on preparing for professional opportunities, paying particular attention to current job trends in a COVID-19 world.

Interview Practice Slide

Since the career development seminar series, Pathways participants have applied to over 90 internship opportunities. Their resume and cover letter materials successfully highlighted Pathways students as professionals and magnified their strengths, experiences, and competencies, such that most have been contacted for not one, but multiple interview requests. After going through multiple interview rounds, one Pathways participant shared, “During my interview, I felt comfortable and confident. I was able to use previous notes based off our practice interviews, which was perfect. I even did some further background research… and was able to ask good questions and actually have a great conversation during my interview. These are all techniques that I learned from Pathways.” The program is very proud of participants for taking concepts learned and putting them into action to help secure new professional opportunities for themselves!

The youngest Pathways cohort was afforded an additional experience with Johnson & Johnson’s Human Performance Institute (HPI), which provided them with their final winter seminar experience, engaging participants with their Energy for Performance 2.0 curriculum. Sessions focused on the importance of purpose, mindset, emotional and mental agility, and self-awareness and self-management. Participants were introduced to the R.A.I.N. Method of mindfulness and explored a variety of grounding strategies and exercises to help influence personal wellness. To quote one Pathways student, “The Energy for Performance sessions were amazing and allowed me to feel.” Participants left these sessions feeling empowered, equipped, and motivated to intentionally live out their purpose.

With the support of FHI 360, Johnson & Johnson, and Career Focused Solutions, Pathways participants had an enriching winter experience that gave space not only for strengthening their professional portfolios and behavioral based interviewing skills, but most importantly, building confidence, investing in themselves, and deepening their understanding of magnifying and living out their purpose.

Learn more about the Pathway to Success program here.