The Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALAMN) held its 4th annual career fair on April 13 for students from two local high schools. This is a pipeline project that educates students on the various career opportunities in the legal industry. It’s always a rewarding experience, and this year was no exception.
Students were given incentives to visit each booth, and they did. Many asked thoughtful questions, and some were refreshingly honest about their disinterest in some of the jobs. Students were also encouraged to participate in mock interviews. Some were apprehensive, but overcame their fears and learned interviewing skills that will serve them well in the future.
I can’t stop thinking about a young man I interviewed. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it. I started out with a few canned questions, and his answers were thoughtful and candid, turning our interview to a conversation. The time flew quickly as I became more and more intrigued and in awe of this high school senior.
Here’s what I learned:
- He moved with his family from Somalia to Minnesota a few years ago.
- He likes a lot about Minnesota, especially the opportunities for kids like him. He was pleasantly surprised that not only were there other students like him, but teachers as well. He said there were no opportunities for his family in Somalia.
- He’s not crazy about our winters😏. He experienced the first snow he had ever seen in person and at first, he was excited. He played in it, he tasted it, he enjoyed it…..for about a month. After that, he said he could do without it.
- He has a full-time security job while attending school full time. He is never tardy and has regular attendance at both.
- He likes everything about his job. It’s easy for the most part, and he enjoys when he has to think fast on his feet.
- His favorite school subject is biology.
- He has been independent since he was young. His parents knew little English and weren’t helpful with school work.
- He washes his own clothes and basically takes care of himself.
- He values his independence and relying on himself to be successful.
- He is college-bound and has scholarships and funding all set.
- He doesn’t know yet what he will major in, but definitely wants a career that will interest him and be financially lucrative. Minimum wage is not for him in the long haul.
- He’s completing his generals at a community college in Columbus, Ohio to save money, and then will transfer to another college when he decides on a major.
- When he completes college, he plans on returning to the Twin Cities because of the opportunities here.
Most of all, what I learned from this determined and focused young man is that he is going to be an outstanding employee for an aware employer. You can teach job skills, but you can’t teach what he has. I told him what a privilege it was to interview him and that I’d love to have him at our firm one day.
Our country’s future is in good hands with students like this.