Teens explore future careers
October 2, 2008 · Updated 6:11 PM
Several dozen professionals provided insight about their occupations and how they arrived at them at Mount Si High Schools career day, held Wednesday morning, May 21.
The event came just as seniors are about to join the largest-ever graduating class in the country. About 65,000 seniors will graduate this year in Washington alone, said school counselor Amy Anderson, who organized the career day.
Too many students graduate and they dont have a clue what they want to do after that. They just flounder, Anderson said. Were trying to expose our kids to whats out there, and what potential possibilities there are.
In lieu of morning classes, all students attended four 35-minute talks given by the presenters of their choice. Many speakers used visual aides, told personal stories, and fielded questions to help students understand their professions, which ran the gamut of fields.
Volunteers included a lawyer, a software architect, a photographer and members of the armed forces.
I try to mix it up. They cover the whole range of topics from those that require college degrees, to a man who started a tree service business and has a small niche in the market, Anderson said.
Tristan Robertiello, a senior, attended sessions on firefighting, law enforcement, nursing and engineering. Hes not sure about his post-graduation plans, but said the event gave him some ideas.
Im looking at a lot of different stuff. Welding looks good. Its a trade thats going to be around forever, and its something interesting, he said.
Senior Christine McHatton, who plans to study veterinary medicine at Bellevue Community College next year, enjoyed a presentation from an emergency room nurse and X-ray technician.
This might relate to being a vet assistant, she said while looking at a human trauma patients X-ray.
McHatton thought career day was useful to her peers, especially those who are still weighing job and education options.
It shows people what different careers are like, and gives them a chance to ask questions about how to get on those paths, she said.
A first-time career day speaker, cake decorator Suzanne Glazier said that while addressing a class full of teenagers was terrifying, she sees a need to recruit people into her industry.
Theres not enough cake decorators out there. Im always really stressed because I never have backup. If I go on vacation, its a really big deal to find somebody.
Glazier said cake decoration isnt a field that occurs to most students, but told them how it was a fulfilling career for her. She listed her jobs pros (interaction with customers, a chance to be artistic) and cons (no holidays off), and encouraged them to take classes at crafts stores to see if theyre really interested in the baking arts.
Students ate up Glaziers presentation, literally and figuratively. Enjoying a cupcake, sophomore Michelle Whim said shed gained a clear picture of what its like to work in a bakery.
Cake decorating seems like a fun career, she said.
Outdoors, Doug Steinmetzer showed off a 27-foot trailer to help students understand how mechanical insulation helps businesses save energy costs.
An apprenticeship coordinator for Hudson Bay Insulation, Steinmetzer aimed to help students understand that theres more ways to go out there to make a good living.
He was pleased with students responses.
Most of them are asking the right questions, and were opening a few eyes, I think.