Grade 9 Career Days

BY TUBA CHOUDHRY

In the last few weeks at Milton District High School, the grade nine population was given a chance to experience a wide range of careers and learn a bit about each. There were a total of 4 presentation days, with a total of 15 presenters. These career days, that were run by Mr. Kokerus from Guidance/Co-op were “for students to understand that everybody’s life path is not linear and that they learn through a multitude of experiences in life. The goal wasn’t to get students to look at just at these careers but through hearing the presenters’ life stories, to understand that they can choose their own pathway wherever that leads.”

There were presentations from musicians, authors, entrepreneurs, conservationists, police and military. Each presentation went over the requirements of each career and what was needed to successfully obtain these requirements. Overall, these career days gave the grade nine students a chance to think, and begin to plan what they might do with their lives one day. Several of the presenters shared their path that led them first to university and then to college. Some went through technical college programs and some didn’t attend post secondary at all. Many of them ended up in careers they were not expecting and shared the need to be flexible on your path and be open to where life leads you.

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The first career day was held on April 4th, 2017. There were a total of nine presenters. The first presenter was a 911 dispatcher, Kate Pataran. She explained the importance of contacts, and experience needed, to become successful. Then, there were two firemen who talked about working hard in school and never giving up. Next, a pair of paramedic workers named, Shawn Weigel and Rebecca Harper, talked about how they got into the field through putting in the effort and, again, never giving up. Furthermore, there were also two military officers, named Usman Ahmad, and Richard Vuong, who explained everything that they did, how to rise in military ranks and how they came to working in the military. Lastly, there were two policemen by the names of, Hardy Singh, and Del Villar Robert, who explained at how first, you can never imagine yourself in one place but as time goes on to find yourself leaning towards a certain path and, when that happens, you should take that path.

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The second career day was held on April 11th, 2017. On this day there were presentations from a graphic designer named Mark Campbell, and a conservationist named Shauna Hasselman. Mark spoke about the different jobs he’s had while being a graphic designer and what he did (experiences, jobs) helped him earn these jobs. Shauna spoke about her job, as not only a conservationist but as a teacher for the groups she toured around areas such as Crawford Lake. Both presenters stressed the importance of experience and how important it is to pursue what you love.

The third career day was held on April 13th, 2017. The grade nine`s had the chance to hear presentations from the author Christina Grant and the musician Pete Paquette. Both of these presenters were full of energy, and they both talked about how they ended up where they were. They spoke about the different experiences they went through and what really helped them reach where they wanted to go.

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The last career day was held on April 19th, 2017. There were only two presenters, but both were very clear in what they believed would help one become successful. The first presenter was a superintendent of parks named Steve Hasselman and the second presenter was an entrepreneur named Dan Carrocci. Both presenters strongly believe that a key point in reaching your goals is having a good list of contacts. They believe that if you know a lot of people and you leave great impressions on them, you have a very good chance that they might help you one day.

A central theme through all the presentations was the need for resilience – how you can’t be afraid to fail, because everyone does – and how a critical life skill is to be strong enough to get back up and try again.  That, along with being open to what life presents and keeping a strong network, will lead to success!

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