Donovan Gayles shares "The Keys to Success"

Donovan Gayles, a Mount Olive High School alumnus, recently offered a free workshop to current students about college and career readiness. Gayles, who graduated from MOHS two years ago, attends Susquehanna University where he is majoring in Business. This past summer Gayles completed an internship in Hong Kong and wanted to share some of his insights with students.

Using humor in his presentation, Gayles shared "The Keys to Success" in a lunchtime session and also presented to the Business classes in the afternoon.

Gayles gave resume advice to students, advising them to keep their resumes clear and concise. He also stressed the importance of preparing for interviews by researching the company, dressing appropriately, and being honest during the interview.

"Every word counts during the interview," Gayles said. "Because you only have 30 to 45 minutes to make an impression."

He also said, "Be as honest as possible. Don't be afraid to ask the employer to repeat a question."

Gayles recommended showing an interest in the company by asking the employer a question during the interview. Questions could be about the company itself or something like, "What are you looking for in an employee?"

One of the most common, yet daunting, things an employer may say in an interview is: "Tell me about yourself." Gayles said, "What are you going to say? I like playing Fortnite? No, you need to be prepared to answer that question professionally."

An important step in the interview process is to always send a follow-up thank you email to the employer after the interview. It can be useful to mention something discussed during the interview in the email to show genuine interest in what was discussed.

Gayles said, "If you don't get the position, ask what you can do to improve for next time."

Towards the end of his presentation, Gayles emphasized the importance of networking. Getting to know people in one's chosen career field can help a person find a job, sometimes in an unexpected way.


MOHS students travel to China for cultural excursion

Over the summer, members of the Mount Olive High School basketball team were given the opportunity to participate in a cultural experience, travelling to China. After thirty hours of travel, the students arrived in China where they visited several ancient villages, as well as the bustling city of Shanghai. They visited a school in Shijiazhuang, took cultural classes, and learned about the evolution of Chinese dance.

During the previous school year, a foreign exchange program was put in place at MOHS, allowing over a dozen students from China to travel to Mount Olive to study in an American school. Several of these students noted how different it was to study at MOHS, where so many opportunities are given to students as they consider future careers. To complement the experience, several students from MOHS travelled to China in order to learn about the culture and history of the region.

Andres Cruz, a junior at MOHS, thought it was a great opportunity to see a different part of the world. He said, "It's a new environment, not only geographically but culturally." Cruz enjoyed bonding with his MOHS peers and also meeting students in China. "We got to see what a modern day household was like. When we went to Shanghai it was a culture shock. We didn't expect it to be so advanced, similar to what you would find in New York City."

Tiki Khan, a senior at MOHS, echoed similar sentiments and said, "I liked experiencing the new culture and meeting new people there. I still talk to someone I met while traveling there. A lot of what I learned about the culture came from the people I met."

Cruz said he hopes to go back to China one day. "I would love to see the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City next time."

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