A Flurry of Refining, Prepping, Planning, and Interviewing

Over the past month, senior students in the inaugural class of the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy have been meeting one-on-one with mentors at CNX Resources to accomplish two crucial objectives.

First, to define a preferred career path; in other words, answering the question of, “So, what do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

Second, putting the finishing touches on the plan to land the desired job in the targeted profession:  finalizing impressive resumes, setting a schedule for the coming months tailored to the end goal, and practicing interviewing skills.

Much of the effort invested into the Academy since inception was designed to help students answer the first question of what career they want to pursue.  The numerous site visits to regional employers and trades, presentations by their staff, and hands-on experiences are now paying off.  Students have a greatly expanded awareness of regional careers that don’t require a four-year college degree and that pay family-sustaining wages (with the latter trait making an impression on students as to how, for many majors, college tuition runs the danger of a being a massive losing financial proposition).  Most importantly, students have gained a feel for which career paths interest them most…something this author wishes he would’ve had better awareness of at 18.

But knowing which career paths are preferred is only the first step.

Next comes the methodical process of drafting a resume, refining it, assessing gaps, closing those gaps with experiences and activities, and then finalizing the resume.  If you’ve followed this blog, you know the students have been diligently working on this.  That effort has paid off with resumes that don’t look just good; they look great.

And wouldn’t you know it?  The process of polishing that resume had an ancillary benefit of building up student confidence.  Which is a great ingredient for preparing for, and performing well in the job interview.  Seniors (soon to be high school graduates) have been meeting with mentors one-on-one, talking about what to expect in the interview, how to prepare, and how to leave the right impression.  I wish I could be in the room when these interviews occur, because I have a feeling the students are going to impress.

Many of the seniors have already begun their interviewing.  An impromptu job fair/mini-job shadow rotation was set up at CNX Resources’ main office when senior students made their recent visits, and future operational field site tours are being scheduled for those students who are interested in energy industry careers.

A point of pride was seeing the connection develop between the Mentorship Academy and day-to-day teams at CNX.  In early April 2022, the company now has a list of entry-level job positions that would be great fits for these students once they graduate high school (in less than 60 days!).

The business world speaks of ‘synergies’ all the time, usually to justify certain decisions while ultimately not realizing many of the promised synergies.  But with the CNX Foundation Mentorship Academy and CNX Resources Corp., I am happy to report the hoped-for synergies between the two are going to materialize to the benefit of employees, the region, students, and shareholders.

That’s it for now.  This phase of the Academy effort will continue through to summer graduation and, frankly, through the careers of these students.  The tools being developed in the Academy program are for life, not just for this year.  And we start the same process in late April for the juniors in the Academy.  Stay tuned.

Please contact the Academy team at CNXMentorshipAcademy@cnx.com if you:

  • Are interested in interviewing one of our seniors for a job opening;
  • Would like to nominate a rising-senior student for the 2022-2023 CNX Mentorship Academy class; or,
  • Are interested in becoming a mentor or hosting a site visit for the 2022-2023 CNX Mentorship Academy class.
The Mentorship Academy is an initiative of CNX Foundation and part of CNX’s commitment to investing in its local community. Designed for high school students who do not plan to immediately attend a four-year college, the Academy is focused on providing urban and rural youth from economically disadvantaged regional Appalachian communities with greater opportunities—helping provide these young adults a bridge to family-sustaining careers. Following the mentorship program, students will have developed new relationships with peers and business leaders across western Pennsylvania, a new excitement for the region’s career opportunities and an understanding of how to pursue those careers.

A Flurry of Refining, Prepping, Planning, and Interviewing