Students in Capstone classes interview visiting professionals, create projects about their interviews


Ursula Fraley

Capstone conversations — Senior Akshaj Ganta meets with a professional during the Capstone networking event. Representatives from different career fields attended the event to meet with Capstone students.

Cecilia Kolenich, Managing Editor

On Wednesday, September 21, students participated in a networking event in the library where they conducted interviews with professionals from their chosen field of study. During their interviews, students asked specific questions about the topics they plan to research throughout their Capstone and sought advice about further education and internships in those fields. 

This year, the event was arranged by Coordinator of Extended Learning Opportunities, Steven Netcoh, who reached out to professionals around the state and asked them to join students for the event.

“What we did was we found out what all of the students were thinking about doing for their projects for the year, and then we reached out to professionals in the area who we thought would be able to give students good feedback and advice on their Capstone projects based on working in the fields that are related to those projects. We really did our best to try to match Capstone students with experts in their area,” Netcoh said.

Over the course of two days, 101 students sat down with representatives from businesses, schools, and organizations to pitch their Capstone project ideas. Sydney Bigelow, a student in the Journalism Capstone class, interviewed officials from NBC (National Broadcasting Company) Connecticut and The Washington Post. 

“During my meetings with Capstone professionals I was able to share my initial ideas for my project and receive feedback to improve my Capstone plan. Through our conversation, my community contact provided suggestions for me and even gave me a list of sources to use,” Bigelow said. 

Projects will vary depending on the class. While the Construction Capstone will focus on hands-on building, other Capstones like E-Commerce will revolve around business plans and product development. Netcoh believes that students are well prepared for these projects and any opportunities they may accept outside of the classroom. 

“They all did a really great job with it, everyone that was involved was super impressed with the way that the Capstone students prepared, came dressed professionally and all that. I looked around the library and saw a lot of really great eye contact, lots of good nonverals showing they were really engaged. […] There was an attorney from the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (CIRI) […] I remember him saying to me after having the conversations with the Capstone students that he just has so much hope after talking with them because of the projects that they’re doing and their commitment to helping people out. I just thought that was a really nice outcome of the event,” Netcoh said. 

Mya Steir, an FHS alumni and professional from NBC, gave back to the community by attending interviews and giving project advice. 

“This school provides so many resources to navigate through the next step in life, whether it’s college, a career, or community involvement. I was so thankful for people guiding me so I wanted to help fellow Farmington students,” Steir said. 

Over the course of their classes, Capstone students will use the information they gained from their interviews to create projects and present them to teachers and classmates.