Career Day Gives Students a Chance to Envision Future Jobs

By Anna Weier and Kiara Kunnes, Staff Writers

Video By Karl-Erik Mills, Staff Writer

   As the bell rang, Acalanes students darted across campus, but not to their regular third period classes. Instead of going to their class after break, students listened to adult volunteers sporting anything from aprons to suits to military uniforms to learn what life was like in the “real world.”

   On March 9, Acalanes held their eighth annual Career Day to help students gain knowledge about different career fields.

   Every student is required to attend two 27 minute presentations, each given by one of 47 adult volunteers. During each of these presentations, the students are given an introduction to of each profession.

   Some of the presenters include a researcher at UCSF, a Pinterest Account Manager, an Oracle Executive, and an Art Director at Banana Republic.

   “What I really like about it is that you’re being exposed to a lot of different careers,” Acalanes College and Career Advisor Ginger Jessop said. “For example, a student may not even know what a private equating unit is, and could be exposed to it and discover that that could be something they really want to do in the future.”

   Sophomore Claire Maxwell agrees with Jessop and believes that the day was a success.

   “I think it definitely is [helpful to students] because a lot of kids do not know what they want to do in high school at all,” Maxwell said. “I think that is a really good tool for people to go and be able to be introduced to all of these work forces.”

   However, other students such as freshman Charlotte S. Keohane thought that two presentations was not enough.     

  “I think there are definitely benefits but I wish we could go to more presentations, so I think a wider variety would be more beneficial,” Keohane said.

   Each of the presenters used a variety of methods to discuss his or her career. Some had powerpoints and posters, while others brought candy to keep the students’ attention. Attorney and Career Day presenter Bill Green tried to get studentsthinking about what the practice of law is really like.

   “It is not that difficult to get people to be engaged because we are talking about real issues in terms of what its is like to go to jail, what happens when you are in a car accident, or if you are potentially going to be sued for a whole bunch of money,” Green said. “These things have an impact on people’s lives so it is the type of profession that there is a real impact.”

    Many students such as Maxwell chose careers they are genuinely interested in pursuing. However, there is a dispute regarding if students are using this day for its intended purpose of helping students prepare for the future, or if students are picking careers because they only feel that the presentation will be fun.

   “The most popular were the FBI presenter and the culinary arts, the chef. I was looking at files from the past years and those are typically the most popular ones each year,” Jessop said.

   A couple weeks prior to Career Day, students were given the opportunity to sign up for their two presentations through an online application form.

   For Acalanes students, Career Day lasts for only an hour. But for Jessop, months of coordinating went into planning the event.

   Beginning the search for speakers in January, Jessop planned the whole day, putting together the registration webpage, securing all the speakers, and scheduling the bell times of the day.

   “On my part, it’s recruiting members of our community to present to students here about their professions, so we try to get a wide variety so that students are exposed to a lot of different career fields,” Jessop said. “We look to people who have presented in the past and then we reach out to the parent community here via email and encourage them to offer to volunteer. Also through word and mouth, certain staff or parents may know someone who they recommend to speak.”

   After months of preparation, overall, students found Career Day enjoyable and helpful.

   “It opened the doors for me on what possibilities I can have,” senior Ryan Franke said. “It gives [students] new ideas and shows them new possibilities of what they can do.”

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