Everyone, at one point in their lives, has been asked what they want to be when they grow up. Answers are constantly changing, from doctor to lawyer to author. However, thanks to the school’s annual career fair, junior high (JH) students can preview a wide variety of careers and have an opportunity to talk to the professionals.
Begun twelve years ago by Heritage Upper School Assistant Principal Melissa Becerra when she was the Heritage JH Guidance Counselor, the career fair is a way for students to see and talk to different professionals in their career. To get professionals to come, Heritage JH Guidance Counselor Tamara Stein sent a letter to all JH families explaining what career fair is and inviting parents to volunteer to come on campus and present their careers.
Today, the Career Fair is organized and managed by Mrs. Tamara Stein and Academy JH Guidance Counselor Robin Behar.
Leading up to the event, Mrs. Stein visited 7th grade classrooms. There, she gave students a career cluster inventory, which, based on a series of questions, guides students towards a career they may enjoy in the future. After the questionnaire, Mrs. Stein headed students in a discussion about careers and what to expect at the event.
At the Career Fair, students were given a list of guided questions to help them get the most out of their time with the professionals. Students also had the opportunity to ask their own questions and the freedom to explore the gym decorated for the event.
“I was very interested to learn about the different jobs,” eighth grader Ananya Balaji said. Some professionals at the event handed out treats such as candy and merchandise with the company’s’ logo on it. “They also had flyers to give out for summer programs that give opportunities to learn further about the profession,” seventh grader Brianna Goldberg said.
Businesses and people at the event included the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Southeastern Laboratory Senior Chemist Rachel Buchanan and the owner of Hangout Music Festival Lilly Zislin.
The event was a success, based on the feedback from JH students.
“I liked [the event] a lot. The parents were really nice and gave a lot of useful information. It was really fun,” eighth grader Sydney Chrysler said. Because of this opportunity, students could explore different jobs that they may have never considered before as a potential future career. “There were some careers that I didn’t even know existed, which were fascinating to learn about,” Goldberg said.
Overall, the Career Fair is an unrivaled event for JH students. “The career fair is very beneficial because you don’t usually get a chance to talk to people working as CIA agents, brokers, firefighters, attorneys and doctors,” eighth grader Ekaterina Ivakhenko said.