Career Days

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“If you love something enough, and you work really hard, you can make anything into a career.”

– Andrew Manos, Career Day speaker

 

Why Career Day?

Career Day is an opportunity for young students, typically at the junior high level, to learn about a wide variety of career paths, both locally and beyond. More importantly, they gain the insight that can only come from your personal story–and through your story, your lessons learned. Career Days are about opening young minds and encouraging big dreams. 

Isn’t junior high too early for this?

Actually, most educators say that if we wait until high school to start talking about possible careers, then it is too late. Career Days allow junior high students to explore where their skills and interests might lead. The first step to college and career readiness is knowing what you like to do and knowing what you’re good at. Through storytelling, demonstrations, or discussion, Career Day speakers have the power to help students unearth new possibilities. 

How should I prepare?

First, remember, the most important part of a successful presentation is an authentic story. Students will instantly find a way to relate. Share your mistakes. If you were a terrible student, say so. Knowing you still made it through somehow will be a source of motivation. Visual aids, discussion questions, or a simple activity to get students talking are also helpful. Our staff is happy to discuss ideas or offer personalized tips–just give us a call. Most often, speakers are placed in pairs, each presenting for half of a class period, and may present to up to four different classes. 

What do I talk about?

Whether you’re preparing for your first ever Career Day or looking for guidance before heading back to the classroom, consider the outline below when drafting your presentation:

  1. Briefly introduce yourself and your title
  2. Get to know your audience
    • Start by asking them questions to gain a sense of the students’ prior knowledge of the field 
    • Avoid explaining what they already know
    • Make sure you spell out unfamiliar acronyms and define terms – it is easy to forget this when you use the language every day, but it might go right over their heads
  3. Personal pathway 
    • What were you like when you were their age?
    • Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
    • Were there any pivotal moments, inspirational figures, or events that steered you in a certain direction?
  4. Secrets to success
    • What soft skills can students work on if they want to pursue a career in your field?
    • What character traits lead to success in your role?
  5. Day-to-day
    • What are the responsibilities of your job?
    • Describe a day in your position.
  6. Q & A
    • Leave time for questions!

For more information, email volunteer@sbceo.org or call 805-964-4710 ext. 4414. 

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