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Career Story: High School Career Specialist

High School Career Specialist

Job Title: Career Specialist

Type of Company: I work for a school district in the Boston area.

Education: Keane College, Fine Arts program •• Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts

Previous Experience: I started my career in sales, then spent 25 years working for employment agencies helping corporations fill open jobs

Job Tasks: I assist high school students in determining what career they want to pursue after high school. I do this by helping students find internships or job shadow opportunities where they can experience a real work environment for a day, a week or weeks on end.

I have an initial conversation with a student at which time we discuss what their interests are, which subjects they enjoy, what they feel they're good at. When we have determined a couple of career options, I will make phone calls to local companies to inquire about internship opportunities within the company and determine if there is a good fit between the student and the company. Shadows are usually half a day to a full day; internships usually last 2-10 weeks.

An example of a job shadow would be the student who thinks that they would like to go into law enforcement. I work with the local police department to set up a couple of days for the student to ride with an officer on his or her shift, and then spend some time in the headquarters, learning about investigations and things like fingerprinting. An example of an internship would be a student who is considering going into nursing. I have a local hospital that runs a nursing internship. The students spend 2-3 days a week at the hospital, after school. Each day is spent in a different department of the hospital, and they get to experience first hand, what the nurses in those departments deal with. They also learn a great deal about the actual procedures, from taking blood, to delivering babies.

In addition, I assist students in finding part time employment after school.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Working with students and helping them to make suitable career choices is very rewarding, as is the excitement level they bring to the opportunities.

The downside is having a very limited amount of time to work with the students, and spending a great deal of time on the phone.

Job Tips:
1. Someone who goes into this field should be comfortable is a sales role, since most of your time is talking to companies about students that may work with them.

2. This job requires a good deal of self confidence as you make a tremendous amount of cold calls.

3. You also should be comfortable working with and helping people.

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