May 2020 Student of the Month
My name is Vienne Borg and I attend Centennial High School. I have been part of the WBL program for two years. The work-based learning program has benefited me greatly these past two years. I had experience with both a paid job and an internship, and both these positions partnered with the classwork taught me a lot about professionalism, communication, and hard work. And all these things were not taught in the usual high school class setting. However, the parts of the course that have best prepared me for the future have to be the Job Shadows and yearly portfolio.
I did my first job shadow with an old music teacher of mine at Northwood Elementary School. At the time I was still feeling out my future career pathway options. I was interested in film and media, but I wanted to make sure it was a fit for me by comparing it with a possible music pathway, which I also took interest in. I worked with Mrs. Dahl all day teaching little kids how to play the piano. It gave me that real world experience that I was missing from regular classes at school. I was reminded the importance of patience and kindness alongside focus and firmness. To work with little kids, you have to be tolerant and smile quite a bit, but you also have to redirect them when they stray away from the curriculum.
My second job shadow was with my father. It was originally supposed to be with an associate of his at WSBTV where he works, but unfortunately the pandemic changed that. So, instead of doing what I originally planned, which was narrow down career options between film and music, I learned a lot about leadership. My dad is the Senior Product Development Director for Coxx Media Groups (the company that owns WSBTV). And though he was working from home I followed him around the house all day, sat through his online meetings, and attentively watched him present information. My dad taught me about adaptability, how when you’re managing a group of people or working under difficult circumstances you have to stay positive and still put your best foot forward. He also taught me about professionalism. In many of his phone calls and meetings he would say a joke or two, but he always led with diligence and I could tell that his employees hold great respect for him. He told me he jokes to keep people engaged. Their jobs aren’t always fun, and when their working hard and feel overwhelmed joking relieves some stress. But he also told me you shouldn’t joke too much or people will start to get lazy and distracted. My dad holds all the great qualities of a strong leader, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to absorb his knowledge, and hopefully one day translate it into my career.
My portfolio was another part of the work-based learning course that gave me experience. While collecting all the data needed to complete my portfolio through journal entries and YouScience personality tests I also learned how to write emails, cover letters, and resumes. I was always worried before this course that when I went to apply for a real job, I wouldn’t know what to do. But with the knowledge and training the course provided I feel like I could effectively land a job position in the film industry. Creating a resume for my portfolio gave me the opportunity to gather all of my film works and achievements in one place, it was a little grueling, but I have a creative resume that is necessary for any job application in the film industry. I feel prepared for my future now more than ever.
In 5-10 years, I hope to have graduated Columbus State University with honors and with a bachelor’s in Communications and Film. I also hope to have landed an internship or full-time position at a production company, possibly Flat Rock or Pinewood Studios. My goal is to be a director, one of the ones that you know the name of instantly like Steven Spielberg or Quentin Tarantino. But even more so I want to be known as a great female director, like Katherine Bigelow or Olivia Wilde. There aren’t very many female directors in the world that people remember the names of, but I would like to be one people can’t forget. I also see myself dappling in the music industry, maybe selling some of my original songs or writing my own score to a film I’m making. If there’s one more thing work based learning taught me it’s that I don’t have to stick to one path. I’ve been down both roads of film and music, and sometimes they go hand in hand. I don’t have to confine myself to one pathway, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me. No matter what it is I know I will be successful because of what I learned in this program.