Story by Katie Bisaro
With their entire lives ahead of them, students aren’t often sure of the path they want to follow once they leave the comfort of the “known,” their High School, and head out into the unknown, “the real world.”
The sixth annual Career Day, held at Warwick Valley High School on Thurs., Apr. 4, might be the catalyst to help with those weighty decisions.
The Career Day event is sponsored by the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce, ShopRite of Warwick, and the Warwick Foundation for Excellence in Learning (WFEL), in conjunction with the high school Guidance Department at Warwick Valley H.S. and the business faculty from S.S. Seward Institute in the Village of Florida.
Over 30 companies and organizations were in attendance for this year’s event, representing a variety of professions and occupations including science and technology, medicine, financial services, agriculture, the military, law enforcement, fashion design, the insurance industry, government, media and construction.
For two hours, hundreds of students from the two high schools wandered through the career fair, speaking to representatives, asking questions and learning about the different careers that might interest them.
Students were encouraged to use important “soft skills” such as introducing themselves to the career professionals, shaking hands, asking questions, thanking them for their time, etc.
Many students asked questions as to what education and skills are needed for a given career and about other opportunities that may come out of that profession. Career Day professionals enjoy speaking with students, answering their questions and generating excitement for their area of expertise.
Danielle Zwart, a radiology technician from Crystal Run Healthcare, has attended similar career days throughout the county. She recalled a story about a student she spoke to at one such fair who had a cast on his foot, which started a conversation about x-rays and other radiologic imaging. Two years later, that same student stopped by her table as a high school senior to tell her that because of that discussion, he had decided to pursue a career in radiology.
The annual Career Day event is the result of the tireless efforts of a committee comprised of school guidance and faculty as well as dedicated volunteers who have helped this event to grow each year. The committee is also grateful to the businesses and organizations that participate each year, taking time out of their days to talk with hundreds of students.
“We are very lucky to live in a community that will go out of its way to help our students see what possibilities are available to them. Our professionals are amazing in creatively presenting their careers. Thanks to them this is our sixth successful Career Day,” a committee statement read.