Second Summer Melt Workshop a Smashing Success

College, here we come! On June 28 we held our second Summer Melt Workshop to help students stay on track between high school and college. “Summer melt” refers to students committing to a college in the spring but not actually starting school in the fall. Numerous obstacles can derail students, such as forgetting to do required paperwork, being unable to pay deposits, family pressures to stay home, or feeling intimidated by college. According to Harvard University, summer melt affects 10-40% of college-intending students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. SRA to the rescue! We stepped up our game this year by creating 30 new articles, organizers, checklists, webinars, videos, lesson plans, and other resources specifically focused on summer melt. Both in person and online, we’re making sure students have the resources and support they need to avoid “melting” this summer.
The first portion of the day was spent preparing the students for their mock and informational interviews. Students learned about professional etiquette and what not to ask during an informational interview. We also showed students where to find additional resources like the Informational Interview Request Email Template and Interview Preparation articles found on the SRA Hub to refer to in the future when they are preparing for their own interviews. Before meeting the DocuSign volunteers, students went around and practiced their best handshakes and introductory sentences.
After all the introductions and handshakes, the DocuSign employees spent the next thirty minutes on a career panel answering student’s questions pertaining to finding the right major, preparing for an interview, learning from mistakes in their jobs, and incorporating their passions into their careers. Trial and error was a common theme found in many of the DocuSign employees’ answers. If nothing else, they wanted students to walk away with the idea that in all aspects of life, failure can be an opportunity to learn and grow.
Right after the panel, the students went into the mock interview portion of the event. The 2:1 ratio for the mock interviews provided a great dynamic for students to bounce ideas off of one another on how to approach answering interview questions. For the next thirty minutes, students had the opportunity to review a mock job description, match qualifications on a resume, and actually participate in a mock interview.

During the lunch break, DocuSign employees and students grabbed a couple slices of pizza and went right into informational interviews. Students asked the DocuSign employees various questions about what they liked most about their jobs and what a typical day is like in their positions. Students also had the opportunity to practice their networking skills and ask for the DocuSign employees’ contact information to follow-up with in the future.

In our post-survey, students wrote:

  • “Really good event! I enjoyed it greatly!”
  • “Everything was great!”
  • “It was a helpful experience.”
  • “I really enjoyed learning new things. I think it was helpful to learn about interviews.”

All in all, it was a very engaging event! The students learned a lot about how to best prepare for an interview and the DocuSign employees were able to reflect on their journeys to finding their careers and share some wisdom the workers of the future could appreciate. Interviews can be nerve-racking but we hope with the skills the students learned today, they will know how to put their best foot forward and rock their next interview!