28 May 2019
On April 26, Holliston High School hosted professionals from a variety of different fields for the tenth annual Career Day to give HHS juniors inspiration and advice for their post-high school lives.
Ms. Sue Stone, the School-Work Coordinator, began planning Career Day in December.
“What I try to do is think about the career areas that students typically go into and where there is job availability. The speakers are chosen to represent a different role in that particular career area,” said Stone.
Over the course of the morning, the juniors attended two fifty-minute panels which covered a specific career area. The speakers represented a wide variety of fields, and held positions which varied from civil science engineer to illustrator. For Ms. Stone, it is important that the juniors had the opportunity to hear from a wide range of speakers so they could be able to “get exposure and get a glimpse into the different opportunities.”
Each speaker had an individual message which they hoped to instill in their audience. Avery Feloni, an illustrator based in the Boston area, spoke on the “progress of learning to advocate for yourself as an artist.”
Overall, the students received advice centered around the theme of finding your individual passion. The morning’s Keynote Speaker, Ashley Olafsen, for example, recently graduated from UMass and spoke on her experience creating a camp for girls, MOVE, and a supplemental video series on body image and relationships.
“Try different things to figure out your passion, do the best you can wherever you’re at, and being a good worker wherever you are,” said Olafsen during her speech.
Ms. Stone was inspired to bring Career Day to HHS ten years ago, when she visited Mrs. Manuela Harwich, a current HHS guidance counselor, while she was working at Belmont. She was inspired by the Career Day which the Belmont High School guidance department had hosted, and decided to bring it to Holliston.
Over the years, Ms. Stone has been able to see the process change with the advancement of technology. In the beginning, the organizing process proved difficult. Her husband helped her to construct an Excel spreadsheets for sessions, but it was very sensitive to adjustments and the process of sorting students was painstaking. This year, however, juniors were able to register on their smartphones, said Ms. Stone.
“From where we started to where we are now, technology has made the job so much easier and a lot more efficient,” said Ms. Stone.
The main goal of Career Day is to expose students to new opportunities and give them a chance to make connections and build relationships in the fields that they are interested in.
“I want students to think about who they are, and what their individual skills, talents, and interests are. I want them to make connections, ask questions, have a-ha moments, and take advantage of the valuable advice that the speakers have to offer,” said Ms. Stone.
The student feedback to Career Day was “generally very positive,” said Stone. The participation of the juniors during the discussions and question-and-answer periods left Ms. Stone feeling “confident that it helps students.”
Career Day is a tradition at Holliston High school which allows students to begin planning for their post-high school plans before their senior year, and Ms. Stone believes that the event is inspiring and successful every year.
“Career morning brings a lot of energy into the school. We host so many interesting people, and I get to learn more about what is going on in the world and connect with the people that come to speak,” said Ms. Stone.
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