Students explore career possibilities

First Posted: 11/18/2009

DOBSON Sophomores from Surry County Schools got to question employers during a Get Positioned for Success or GPS Career Fair at Surry Community College Wednesday.
David Hayes, career development coordinator with Surry County Schools, said the career fair was designed to promote the career cluster concept, which is part of new graduation requirements.
Hayes said the school system wanted to give students ideas for their graduation projects, which consists of research, development of a product and a written research report on an area or topic in which they are interested.
A lot of them didnt know these types of careers or jobs existed. We have things like the electric car from Duke Energy, which I thought was a pretty big hit with the students, Hayes said.
Students rode buses from their respective high schools to the college and spent about 50 minutes talking to the 60 exhibitors at the fair. Each student had a booklet to fill out that will be put with their senior graduation project.
This is just a chance for them to start thinking about what they want to do when they graduate. It can begin the thought process about a career, but certainly get them interested in their future. We have class registration in the spring, so this will affect what courses they will take, Hayes said.
Exhibitors included veterinarians, construction companies, firefighters, law enforcement, hospitality and tourism, just to name a few.
Representing the N.C. Cooperative Extension were Director Bryan Cave and Extension Agent Teresa Wilkins.
They want to know what kind of jobs we have and what kind of education and training it takes to do those jobs. Surprisingly, they all really seem to be concerned about the global economy, even though they are only in the 10th grade, Cave said.
Paulina McCormick, a student at Surry Central High School, said she enjoyed finding out what kind of careers are available during the career fair.
Jessica Lowe, a student at Surry Early College High School of Design, said she was most interested in finding out about careers in agriculture and the food industry.
Olivia McAuley, also a student at SECHSD, said she found interior designing interesting and learned through the career fair that some designers need degrees in engineering and architecture.
James Williams, representing the Army National Guard, said he was approached by many students who were potentially interested in signing on after graduation.
We had a lot of interest. Down the road, I think it will work out pretty good. They wont be eligible until next year, Williams said. We had four or five serious inquiries and another 20 that we might see later on.
Surry Central student Eric Wilmoth talked with Williams briefly about the Army National Guard. Wilmoth said he is leaning toward a career in law enforcement or in computers.
Lt. Lauren Osborne and D.A.R.E. Officer Eric Latza were on hand representing the Surry County Sheriffs Office. They said the students were the most curious about the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams and about the K-9 dogs.
They were also very concerned about budget cuts and how that would affect jobs, Osborne said.
Contact Mondee Tilley at [email protected] or at 719-1930.

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