Career Day brings grads, locals back to inspire next gen.

This year, Career Day, a biennial event, will arrive at Carmel High School on March 14 and features more than 120 professionals mainly based in the Monterey Bay area and CHS alumni with a wide range of career panels.

Some career panels this year include professionals in medicine, engineering, business and real estate, and this year the entrepreneurial business panel will include two entrepreneurs who have been featured on the show “Shark Tank.”

Aidan Godina, a junior at CHS, attended an aviation panel last Career Day in 2015 and explained that the presentation was beneficial and inspirational based on his career interests.

“The aviation presentation that I attended was very interesting because I have always wanted to be a pilot,” he explains.

Patricia Hunt, Carmel High’s college and career center specialist, notes that each panel is focused on a specific career direction, and within them there are about four to five professionals in the same industry, but possessing different jobs.

Students will go to their assigned classrooms and meet the entire panel of that specific career, creating a forum-like atmosphere within the presenters.

There are more than 30 panel options for students, with individual panels lasting about one hour. Students filled out a survey in January or February to determine their top choices for presenters and specific careers, and most will be assigned to their top three choices.

“We ask each professional to prepare a 10 minute presentation within each panel then discuss their typical day and answer questions, pathway to career and outlook,” Hunt explains.

Career Day takes place every two years because of the extensive amount of preparation involved. In the past, career day has not been well attended by the student body.

Attendees leave their jobs to inform students about their field of work, but in contrast the student body has always maintained minimal attendance. For this reason, Career Day is planned for a Tuesday with the hope of increasing students attendance.

“It puts a bad reflection on the school when we have so many professionals willing to give up their time, and then the kids can’t even come to school,” Hunt says.

Some teachers, especially those who teach seniors, have created assignments in which the students either reflect or take notes in each presentation. CHS history teacher Jillayne Ange explains that this year she will be talking with her students beforehand.

“I will be talking to my students about talking points for the presentations, and I will probably do a follow up discussion too,” she explains.

Hunt adds that “the way we have been most successful is through outreach to the teachers.”

Hans Schmidt, a CHS English teacher, has also created an assignment intended to increasing student attendance to Career Day, and he has found there are many students who have benefited and enjoyed Career Day in the past.

-Grace Davis