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Foundation for Success: GVS 8th Graders Prepare for Secondary School Interviews

In alignment with The Green Vale School’s mission to inspire and challenge students by cultivating intellect, character, and confidence as a foundation for success, Julia Ireland, a seasoned veteran of the communications industry, imparted a wealth of experience and knowledge to the GVS 8th Grade students. 

With 32 years of experience as a communications coach, Ireland understands the power of persuasion, the art of presentation, and the significance of making a lasting impression. Her task at Green Vale was to teach the nuances of the interview process for secondary school to 8th Grade students–a pivotal moment in their academic journey. With passion and conviction, Ireland delved into her lessons, focusing not just on the words they spoke but the way they carried themselves.

During one of her sessions, Ireland orchestrated a variety of exercises aimed at refining the students' greetings, perfecting the art of a firm handshake, modulating tone and voice clarity, and harnessing the energy within them. She knew that the subtleties of body language could speak volumes, often louder than words. She guided them through mock interviews, throwing challenging questions their way, urging them to respond with confidence and clarity. 

“I want these young students to understand the big picture about communication that they may not even be aware of,” Ireland began. “Only 7% is what you actually say, 38% is how you say it, and 55% is what your whole body is doing.”  

Ireland also instilled the importance of leaving a memorable impression that would echo long after students had left the interview room. She emphasized that this process was not just about answering questions; it was about showcasing specifics about their authentic selves, their passions, and their potential–all things they could ultimately bring to the table.

One of the key takeaways was to treat this experience like a job interview. She encouraged students to research the schools they aspired to join, to understand their ethos and values. Preparation, she stressed, was the cornerstone of success.

But beyond the immediate goal of secondary school applications, these lessons extended far into the future. The art of confident communication and the ability to make a powerful first impression, were assets for a lifetime. This was about empowering young minds with skills that would serve them in college interviews, job applications, boardroom meetings, and beyond.  

"It's crucial for them to grasp the art of self-advocacy. In today's fiercely competitive world, it's about finding those unique qualities that set them apart from the sea of applicants," Ireland emphasized. "I want to guide them to showcase their achievements with confidence, aligning their strengths with their choice of Secondary School, as well as in the future with potential job opportunities.” 

In the end, Ireland didn't just teach interview and communication techniques; she sculpted futures. As the students absorbed her teachings, they became better prepared to face the world with a little more focus on their intellect, their character, and their confidence … determined to leave a lasting impression.

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