School to Career: Mock Biotechnology Interview and Professional Portfolio
Lesson 3 of 6
Objective: Students will be able to develop essential laboratory skills, through both experience and practice as well as theory, that will be an asset to any industry as well as promote both college and career readiness.
Biotechnology harnesses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet. In other words, Biotechnology is technology that is based on the commercial use of applied biology. The vast majority of methods utilized in the biotechnology lab and workplace depend on the proficient use of a specific collection of general tools to investigate a variety of biological processes and phenomena. Therefore, it is critical that students interested in a career in biotechnology gain, at minimum, basic training in the use of these “tools of the trade”.
The North Carolina Community College (NCCC) BioNetwork provides a variety of online tools, e-learning courses, virtual laboratory training, and workplace simulations designed to offer a consistent, measurable pathway for students as they prepare to demonstrate mastery of the actual use of biotechnology industry tools and methodologies. In this lesson, The Computer-Based Lab Training Portfolio Project, students engage in the purposeful use of technology while working independently, with minimal supervision, in a virtual, digital laboratory environment. NCCC and the BioNetwork issue certifications to students (employees) who successfully reach proficiency during the completion of digital, online courses - a practice widely used in the biotechnology industry.
Before beginning this project it would be a best practice to carefully review the project and workflow with students and address any questions that surface as a result of such an extensive, multi-faceted, year-long project. Advanced biotechnology course members may be assigned the review of article "Moving the Lab Online" in preparation for our overview discussion of this rigorous project.
The interview portion of this project is a unique opportunity to invite various stakeholders into our laboratory classroom and to utilize and honor the expertise of the STEM teachers, administrators, counselors as well as the industry partnerships established at McKinley Technology High School. The narrative below is provided to the teachers, staff and partners of our Biotechnology STEM pathway that are identified by the students as individuals that they would like to serve as mentors and thus interviewers during this component of the project.
Letter to Teachers, Staff and Industry-Partners:
The students of Advanced Biotechnology III have selected you as an excellent prospective faculty/staff interviewer for our Professional Mock Interviews. Although your responsibilities are many and days are quite busy, I am hoping that you ALL will accept your nomination! I have attached all the resources you will need to participate in this process. Here are the THREE (3) easy steps:
1. You will most likely be approached by several students requesting for you to be their interviewer. Each student has been instructed to have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice as each faculty/staff interviewer has been encouraged NOT to select more than TWO student candidates. Once you have made your selection please add the student(s) name to the attached Excel spreadsheet and forward to me at your earliest convenience.
2. Using the questions highlighted in yellow in the 101 Toughest Interview Questions document, interview the student candidate(s) at a mutually agreed upon date, time and place. Be certain to view the students Professional Portfolio and Resume' before or during the interview. The opening and closing questions for the mock interview have been indicated.
3. Please score the students performance using the Mock Interview Scoring Rubric attached. Both the 101 Toughest Interview Questions document and the Mock Interview Scoring Rubric have been provided to ALL scholars as well as posted on our Edmodo site along with videos that will assist them in preparing for your interview. This should be a slam dunk! Finally, AFTER the interview(s), scoring rubrics should be forwarded to me directly and under no circumstances given to the student directly. I know they are trustworthy however I wouldn't want to tempt them to do something they should not!
I hope you enjoy and are inspired by our bright and capable Biotechnology scholars! They have worked hard preparing for this opportunity and will not take it lightly. Students have been asked to wear professional attire during their interview and will be provided documentation to confirm their interview date and time.
Students maintain a professional portfolio which documents their self-directed journey through the online and digital lab experiences. Students compose a brief reflection of each online lab as well as align the content of each to the National Biotechnology Standards. As a resource for both facilitator and student a review of the article, "The Portfolio: A Reflective Bridge Connecting the Learner, Higher Education, and the Workplace" may be assigned to establish purpose and focus for this component of the project.
Finally, students create a resume to include as they first page of their complete professional portfolio which is reviewed by each students mentor and interviewer. The expectation is that the collection of reflections written to document each online or digital lab experience serve as certification of the skills acquired as well as support the interview component of the project.