Recently, more than 400 FISD Independent Study and Mentorship students from across the District gathered at Emerson High School donning professional attire and carrying portfolios ready to learn from area business leaders and former ISM students.
Juniors and seniors across Frisco ISD who are part of the ISM program have the unique opportunity to focus their studies on a topic or career of their choice.
“ISM is an exciting elective offered at Frisco ISD high schools and designed for high-achieving students,” said Krishna Chetty, advanced academics coordinator. “Once selected, students conduct research and interviews throughout the year on their chosen topic of study in order to select a mentor and gain real-world experience.”
At the annual ISM Business Symposium, students rotated between eight different 15-minute sessions where they learned from a group of professionals from a diverse set of professional backgrounds on topics including 21st century professionalism, interview skills and networking. Students also learned about the importance of grit, resilience and empathy; these skills play major roles in the business sector and personal development.
Altair Global HR Director Brandie Monroe relishes the experience to engage with students.
“My favorite part of this event is having a positive impact on students early,” Monroe said. “It’s critical to give them a solid foundation and I love mentoring them.”
Throughout the day, professionals answered questions before, during and after their presentations, eager to give students valuable information that many wished they had received at a young age. From the PGA Head of Technology and CEO of Text-Em-All to a professional photographer and the Baylor Scott and White Vice President of Patient Care Services, every panelist and speaker was excited to engage with the high school students.
Through the annual FISD ISM Symposium, students also had the opportunity to learn from the experiences of former ISM students.
“ISM really prepared me for college,” said Shruthi Khanna, ISM alumni and University of Texas neuroscience major. “Through ISM you will learn to communicate, interact and network.
“ISM connects you to opportunities that make you step out of your comfort zone.”
Under the guidance of their mentor, ISM students develop and design a product related to their topic. Each student leaves the academically rigorous course with experience in research, time management, communication, goal-setting and presentation skills.
“It was an amazing annual event for students across the District and they left inspired and buzzing with excitement,” Chetty said. “We are thankful for all of our panelists and speakers.
“Their willingness to share their expertise is extremely valuable to Frisco ISD students.”
Apply for ISM
Students interested in taking ISM must complete the application and interview process to be considered for the course. Further information on ISM can be found in the District Academic Guide and Course Catalog.
Volunteer with ISM
Community members interested in mentoring students can find information about how to volunteer on the ISM Volunteer page.