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HHS students get a glimpse of business world

Staff writer

Hillsboro residents are likely to see Hillsboro High School students at their local businesses this semester on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Seven businesses are participating in the HHS on the job-training program this year. Eight HHS seniors are spread among the businesses as employees.

“One of my jobs at the end of the school year is to talk to local businesses,” business and OJT teacher Nathan Hiebert said. “The goal is to find businesses that are willing to give a wide variety of tasks to each student.”

This is Hiebert’s eighth year teaching the program. Former business teacher Corey Burton ran the program before Hiebert.

Before entering the OJT program, students must be seniors and have completed 2.5 business credits. According to Heibert, only one credit of business is required for graduation. All of his classes are electives.

OJT students applied for several jobs and then did interviews in the first week of school. The students give Hiebert their preferences among their applications and Hiebert connects the student with the appropriate job. Hiebert is given feedback from businesses.

“It kind of gives them a hidden look into an interview process,” Hiebert said. “Not every kid is guaranteed a job. They have to take this seriously. Some years we have 10 students and only seven businesses.”

The students started working with their business Aug. 24.

Ben Bebermeyer is working at Hillsboro State Bank. He said Hillsboro State Bank was his first choice because he has an interest in finances. He is also friends with Tiffany Rooker, who worked at Hillsboro State Bank for her on the job training and was later hired by the bank as a full-time employee.

“My major next year will be something in business or finance,” Bebermeyer said. “I’m in accounting 3 right now. It is a big possibility that it’s something I want to do.”

Although he does not know which college he will attend after his senior year, Bebermeyer had his eyes on the future when he signed up for OJT. He thinks the experience will provide a quality reference and a good piece of a resume.

“It may help me get a job somewhere,” he said.

So far, Bebermeyer has scanned checks, filled out bank statements, and sealed envelopes with financial information. He said he has enjoyed the experience and said he could see himself returning to Hillsboro State Bank as an employee.

“We want this to be a good relationship with the businesses,” Hiebert said. “Most of the time they’re pleased. Many are pleased enough that they hire them back.”

Allie Faul is working at Quick Flick/ RadioShack. Her goals are more in the present. Quick Flick was her first choice because she knew one of the employees.

Faul is excited to be paid during a school hour. All the students in OJT are paid minimum wage.

Thus far, Faul’s duties have not had much to do with finances. She has stocked the shelves of the store and cleaned tanning beds. She has run simple errands like picking up highlighters and erasers from a grocery store.

“Kids learn social skills for a business, especially with customer service,” Hiebert said. “There are some teachable moments; choices they make that may not be the best.”

Although Faul said she would hypothetically work at a RadioShack near her prospective college campus, what she wanted to learn from OJT was the work that goes into a successful business.

“It takes a lot and it’s not easy at all,” she said. “I haven’t really seen the intense stuff yet.”

While the businesses give students a window into a fast-paced, hardworking world, Hiebert hopes that students allow HHS to give something back to the community.

“It really shows the support the community has for schools,” he said. “Our community does so much for our schools. Our hope is to help the community.”

Last modified Sept. 23, 2010

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