Fireman. Teacher. Lawyer. Soldier. Engineer.
Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up. This is why Career Development Coordinator Carol Schwenk organizes a day when students can spend time with three different speakers, of separate professions, to see if it might be a field they are interested in.
Sixty-five speakers, covering 56 different occupational fields visited in Ledyard high School. Earlier in the year, students filled out a form about what jobs they might be interested in, Schwenk then took this information and carefully scheduled the students with speakers from which they could benefit the most.
“Scheduling students for Career Day takes hours. I spend well over 40 hours just scheduling students. Once I assign their speakers I have to assign speakers to classrooms, making sure I don’t exceed the number of students than seats,” Schwenk said.
“When students do not completely fill out the survey, it is difficult to assign speakers. I spend hours looking up students on PowerSchool to find out what classes they are taking, what kind of student they are, level of classes, etc. to try to match them with something they might be interested in.”
Career Day is not just for students to decide what they want to do. If a student knows that they want to go into a certain profession they can get more information about it and also talk to someone who might help them succeed in that field.
“I have seen numerous students over the years make connections with professionals for summer internships, part-time jobs, volunteer opportunities,” she said. “Career Day is an excellent way to validate your interest in a particular field and it can also enlighten you to aspects about a career that you thought was perfect for you only to have you reconsider and perhaps alter your choice.”
Schwenk has been planning Career Day for 12 and she has put a huge amount of work into this day.
“All the months, weeks, days and hours lead up to 90 minutes. Ninety minutes where 65 adults who care about our Colonels and take time from their workplace to share and perhaps inspire you to reach for your goals. This makes all the long hours of planning worth it,” Schwenk said.