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November 2008
What to Learn About Job Search from the VIA Star Teams

by Susan Reynolds

What could school team presentations have to do with job search? Both the winners and those who did not secure a prize illustrated techniques that job searchers should consider. First, a bit about VIA Star.

The Valley Industrial Association couples teams of SCV students with area businesses, who are the "clients". The student teams must develop a product, process improvement, or program, and "pitch" it to their client company: thus, "STAR", Students Teaming to Achieve Results. I am proud to have chaired this committee for three years. Congratulations to this year's winners.

1ST: The City of Santa Clarita Department of Tourism (Jessica Freude) was pitched by Sierra Vista Junior High School (teacher Lorraine Fulleman) the idea of a program of SCV tours to enhance the revenue of events such as Cowboy Festival and others. Their project included a custom-produced website and promotional materials such as hotel tour cards, which would themselves increase revenue to the City.

2nd: Santa Clarita Guide (Debbie Krubsack) was pitched by Charles Helmers Elementary School (teacher Linda Candib) the idea of developing a web page called "By Kids for Kids" which would increase traffic to the Guide in general while also being a specific revenue source of youth-related advertising. Yes, this is a team of fourth-graders!

3rd: The City of Santa Clarita Department of Economic Development (Andree Walper) was pitched by West Ranch High School (teacher Linda Cox) the idea of developing "Green Day", an environmental products and services community business fair to attract environmentally-friendly commerce to SCV.

These teams exemplified several critical presentation strategies. They all had carefully researched the business, including market, demographics, financials, etc. They had incorporated well-constructed benefits that their company could reap by implementing their ideas. They had accurately developed financial budgets and forecasts for the results that could be anticipated. They had brain-stormed creative ideas to benefit their company. They had planned and rehearsed their presentations diligently, and presented themselves clearly and professionally without unnecessary gimmicks. Their support materials were concise and communicative.

Can you say the same about your job search strategies?

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

Other Job and Career Success Related Articles:
Details Matter in Effective Job Search

Keep Your Career Out of the Kiddie Pool!

Be Persistent in Job Search

Networking REALLY is Key to Job Search

The Correct Protocol of Job Search

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