Students Show off Skills at Career Development Conference

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WATERVILLE, Maine (WABI) - More than seven hundred high school students were dressed to impress at Thomas College in Waterville today.

The students at Jobs for Maine's Graduates Career Development Conference may have felt nervous at first, like Hermon High School Junior Alexis Casey.

"I thought it would be way worse than it is, but it's really fun, and I'm learning a lot."

But JMG Director of Operations Matt St. John says they're facing the kinds of problems they've been taught to solve.

"Whether they're going to college or into the workforce directly, it's a lot of those transferrable skills, so it's public speaking, it's decision making."

"We learn a lot of communication skills with interviews, mock interviews." said Casey.

The conference features several competitive events.

"It's really an opportunity for our students all across the state to showcase the skills that they're working on while they're in the JMG program, said St. John.

"This is what we call our marketplace booth, and so we actually have each one of our JMG programs create a table to represent their JMG program."

"We all came up with ideas, and we came up with something to represent our school." said Thomas Ingles, senior at Hermon High School.

"It's a really good opportunity for some of our students who might be artistic and creative to showcase that skill, but at the same time, those that are able to speak and talk about it, they're showcasing that skill."

The winners of each event will receive trophies, but they're not the real prize.

"We certainly don't want the trophies to define the day. We really want this to be an experience that stays with them well beyond their high school years."

"At the beginning of the year, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do." said Ingles, "And to be honest, I still don't know, but with these skills that I'm getting from JMG, I will be able to find the job that I want, and I will be able to have the career that I want."