Backpack to Briefcase: Parker kids learn workplace skills at Citizens

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IMG_3151Forty Parker Middle School students had the opportunity to visit a professional workplace through a program sponsored by Citizens Insurance and The Hanover Insurance Group. The Backpack to Briefcase program is a career exploration and leadership program that teaches students about professional workplaces, their personal brand, career selection and leadership.

The Backpack to Briefcase program started with a welcome from Paul Mueller, regional president at The Hanover. Following Mueller’s welcome, students took part in a speed networking session designed to help them think about their future. Topics covered during the speed networking session included personal brand, career selection, leadership and internships. Students also attended a session that covered how their use of social media can permanently impact their personal brand. Other sessions discussed corporate responsibility and volunteerism, interpersonal communication skills and the importance of collaboration in the workplace.  Additionally, students had the opportunity to learn critical thinking skills by “investigating” fake accidents and fraud with a Citizens Insurance senior special investigator.

The students found that the program provided a unique insight into the business and professional world. “I learned that first impressions are very important and if you want something you should go get it,” said Maxwell Reis, Parker Middle School eighth grade student.

“The Backpack to Briefcase program is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn about the professional workplace and how the skills they are currently learning at Parker Middle School will apply to their future careers,” said Susan Muntz, Parker Middle School principal. “We are very grateful for this partnership with Citizens Insurance and The Hanover Insurance Group.”

“We are very proud of our Backpack to Briefcase program, and all that we’ve been able to achieve in partnership with Howell Public Schools over the last five years,” said Paul Mueller, regional president at The Hanover Insurance Group. “This is an important program for us and for these students, as the insurance industry continues to flourish and provide tremendous opportunities for early in career individuals.”

The Backpack to Briefcase program is just one of the many ways that Citizens Insurance and The Hanover Insurance Group support Parker Middle School and Howell Public Schools. Annually, Citizens Insurance and The Hanover Insurance Group provide scholarships to Howell students, sponsor United Way Day of Caring grants for student groups participating in the event and a writing and art contest sponsored and judged by Citizens employees.

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