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Student puts retail skills to work

April 22, 2004|By Chris Sutton

A year ago, Laura Newcombe, an 11th grader at La Cañada High School, entered the job market for the first time. She submitted her first job application and was interviewed, but was not hired.

Her second application and interview landed her a job at Tom's Toy Store in Montrose.

"I remember how scary and intimidating the interview was," Newcombe said. "I am shy and was very nervous. I realized I needed to overcome my shyness and improve my interview skills. I also wanted to become a better employee, so I took the ROP's retail marketing class. I have been able to apply the things I've learned and it has made a difference in my job."

Since September of last year, she has been a student in the Regional Occupational Program's retail marketing class, learning customer service etiquette, communication tips, retail business principles and interviewing techniques.

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"I will be so much better prepared for my next interview," added Newcombe.

At Tom's she is a cashier, stocks shelves, assists customers, as well as gift wraps the purchases.

"At first I was a slow wrapper, but now I am fast," Newcombe said.

She is enjoying her first job, finding the customers and staff nice and the children fun.

"Although sometimes on Saturday it gets hectic, everyone who comes to a toy store is happy. It is a happy place, especially to work at," she said.

Her favorite toy in the store is the stuff your own teddy bear.

She intends on majoring in business in college. Stanford is her first pick, followed by USC or UCLA.

In the fall, she is planning on taking another ROP class.

Last month, she was one of five LCHS ROP students nominated by the teachers as outstanding students, competing in the Los Angeles County Outstanding Re-gional Occupation Program Student competition with 22 other schools.

She was one of three silver medal winners. There were also two bronze medal winners.

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