Comparing and contrasting careersSome high school students may know exactly where they want their lives to lead them; others may not even know what options are available to them. Woodbury High School offered insight into what lay ahead for students on Feb. 16 during the schoolwide career day.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
Some high school students may know exactly where they want their lives to lead them; others may not even know what options are available to them.
Woodbury High School offered insight into what lay ahead for students on Feb. 16 during the schoolwide career day.
“I feel like they really gave us a sense of the future and how to leap forward in our life after high school,” said WHS junior Logan Dirkx.
Students heard from three different speakers, for 15 minutes each, about their careers and the path they took to those careers. A total of 69 speakers participated including: doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, physical therapists, fitness trainers, engineers, dentists, veterinarians, writers, small business owners, bankers, financial planners and even clothing designers.
WHS offered a similar career day last year, but this year’s took on a very different persona, WHS assistant principal Sarah Sorenson-Wagner said.
Last year’s career day focused more on the career path rather than the specific careers, and only seniors were able to participate.
The format caused many students to not take as much away as they could, Sorenson-Wagner said.
“There were too many kids that grouched that they didn’t want to hear from ‘X’ career,” she said. “Leading up to this year’s career day, students filled out a survey listing which careers they found interesting and would want to hear more about.”
From there, the school clustered students into broad career areas before assigning them to specific speakers.
Sorenson-Wagner said the school wanted to keep the speakers short because it would provide just a taste for students, rather than bogging them down with too much information.
“We thought that would be a good start to spur more conversations,” she said.
Junior Emily Champoux said she enjoyed hearing about multiple careers, rather than just one general career field.
“They opened our minds to what our futures can be so we don’t have such a closed off perspective,” she said. “There’s so many options out there, you don’t need get bogged down by just one.”
Benefits all around
Sorenson-Wagner said the career day provided benefits to both students and speakers alike.
In terms of speakers, Sorenson-Wagner said it not only brought career professional into the building through community outreach, but it also allowed speakers to give exposure to their fields.
“Being an ambassador for your career has a lot of personal benefit for the speakers,” she said.
In terms of students, Sorenson-Wagner said the career day helped open up students’ minds to what options are available to them after high school.
Most importantly, Sorenson-Wagner said, it gets the freshmen and sophomores thinking early.
“The juniors and seniors already have a pretty clear gut feeling about what they want, but some of the younger kids, when they’re in all general classes, they don’t even know what’s out there for them.
“Having a ninth or 10th grader listen to some of that stuff just gets their brain thinking in a different way.”
Sorenson-Wagner said she hopes to make the career day an annual event since it is so beneficial to students.
“Our kids are telling us that’s what they want,” she said, “They want to connect with people.”