Over eight years ago I had the opportunity to begin conducting mock interviews at the Beaver County Career & Technology Center to help students prepare for the real world. I was introduced to this opportunity by my friend, Renee Digiacomo, who teaches Business Information Systems and she asked me to help. She had the idea of preparing students for the real world by using business leaders she knew to help with the interview process. There are three of us who have been doing the interviews over the years: myself, Director of Business Administration here at Questeq; Deb Gray, owner of Express Professionals; and April McShane, Territory Manager of the Bradford Institute.
Photo courtesy of Beaver County Career & Technology Center
The process of the mock interview goes as follows: the students are first prepped weeks ahead of time with a mock job opening and job description that they must use to prepare for the interview. Next, they work on their resumes, letters of intention, and study the criteria that they will be judged upon during the interview process. While students prepare for their interview, we create score sheets that vary in criteria from proper business attire, resume portfolio, and ability to answer and ask questions. Each student is brought into the classroom where our panel conducts interviews. Once the interviews are completed and scored, we bring the students back in and discuss with them mistakes and give advice on how they can do better. The student with the highest score is awarded the job.
There are so many things the students gain from this; courage and confidence are two that really stand out to me. I remember one incident where our influence on a student was extremely powerful: I was out to dinner and our waitress said that she did a mock interview with me and it helped her get the job that she wanted. She thanked me for all the help we gave her, and it was one of the reasons she beat out the competition. That was a great feeling to hear that she took to heart what she had learned and how the class helped her for the real world. We sometimes see repeat students since they may be sophomores or juniors in previous interviews. It’s fun when they return, and we see the improvements they made from last year.
Through the years I have learned the value of the entire interview process. There is so much competition in today’s job market and it’s extremely important to differentiate yourself and show the employer that you are the person for the job they are offering. Also, it is so important to research the company you want to work for because in the end, the employer wants people committed and enthusiastic to work for their company!
Finally, I would like to add that as a panel of interviewers we are not moderate just because they are students. We are tough in our criticisms and we do that to get the students to think about the reality of their future career path. It is a great teaching tool and I am honored to be a part of it every year!
Hopewell Area School District has agreed to expand their existing partnership with Questeq to include full educational technology management services, with the unanimous backing of its Board. The district serves approximately 2,100 students in Beaver County, which is located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Questeq has provided technology staff to Hopewell since 2009. With this new expanded partnership, Questeq will now manage the entire technology department.
The newly approved plan begins with right-sizing the technology department staff, including the addition of a full time technology director. This brand new position will be responsible for daily technology operations and innovation. The partnership will also bring enhancements to technical competencies, improvements in administrative and instructional application management, data integration, support and classroom innovation. Questeq plans to build upon the current successes at Hopewell by providing a high level of support and positive changes towards digital transformation. We look forward to continuing our ongoing and expanded partnership with Hopewell Area School District.
The Network Operations Center (NOC) and Project Services team at Questeq supports customer sites as part of our Educational Technology Management (ETM) service. We provide three classes of service:
- Preventative such as server maintenance and network monitoring
- Reactive by resolving tickets submitted to the NOC by Questeq onsite team members
- Transformative by implementing project requests for servers; storage area networks; switches; wireless; Office365; Google for Education; and backup / recovery just to name a few.
Prior to the 2016-17 school year, the NOC added more engineering talent to address the peak summer project season. Michael Lipnicky, Jason Allen and Curtis Smithley recently joined Keith Brant, Mark Wolfe, and Mike Miller. The new team members are quickly becoming familiar with Questeq processes and technology at our customer sites.
Looking forward, Questeq anticipates adding several more school districts to our customer list this year. The new team members will help maintain and grow our high level of customer support to both existing and new sites.
Now that the summer rush is over, Project Services is currently working with several of our districts on the following projects.
- Technical design for the 2017-18 school year E-rate bids
- Migrating to Gmail and G Suite for Education (formally Google Apps)
- Implementing inTune and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
- Moving on premise servers such domain controllers and email to the Microsoft Cloud
These are only a few of the projects and ongoing support that the NOC and Project Services provides to all of our ETM sites located throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Questeq is pleased to announce that three of our long-time Pennsylvania customers have renewed our ETM (Educational Technology Management) service including West Allegheny, Moon Area and Riverside Beaver County School District. Each district recently agreed to a multi-year contract and have plans to expand their technology department staff as part of the agreement. We have been educational technology partners with West Allegheny since 2001, Riverside since 2006 and Moon Area School District since 2008.
This summer was filled with many customer renewals and new opportunities. We are thrilled that 98.5% of our outstanding renewals were successfully extended and expanded over multiple years.
The Questeq team will continue to support and innovate with our existing and new customers as we all strive to provide the best educational technology experience for all students, faculty and staff.
Greencastle-Antrim School District was recently featured in the Pubic Opinion for its newest technology initiative. As GASD’s technology management partner, we are excited to help implement and support this program within the district.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Beginning next school year, high school students at Greencastle-Antrim will have access to new technological devices in the classroom.
The Greencastle-Antrim School District will be implementing its own one-to-one technology program, dubbed Equal Technology Opportunities, starting with the 2016-2017 school year for high school students.
Read the full article here.