Career Day features 40 speakers at MHS

Forty speakers from 32 professions gave Monticello High School students the lowdown on various occupations at MHS Career Day, held March 13 at the high school.
Presenters provided information, used demonstrations, and even busted a few myths while they had students’ attention.

Take anthropology, for instance. University of Illinois anthropologist Cris Hughes wanted classes to know her profession is not much like the television series “Bones.” Except for the fictional Dr. Temperance Brennan, Hughes said no one can look at a skeleton and immediately come up with an age for the deceased.

“It’s never going to be that exact,” said Hughes, noting that forensic anthropology instead comes up with more general ranges that span at least a decade. But she said even that helps provide clues as law enforcement  tries to identify bodies.

Her honesty did nothing to dissuade student Jake Stone, who wants to pursue anthropology.

“I thought it was great that I could talk to someone in the field that I am planning on going into,” said Stone.

Hannah Houska also appreciated the attitude of Hughes, especially the fact “she was very willing to help.”

The idea of Career Day is to connect the classroom to the real world that awaits students, according to high school guidance counselor Amy Malone.

“The main goal of Career Day is to expose students to a variety of potential careers and help students make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and the skills needed for jobs,” commented Malone.

Speakers presented 40-minute sessions to students, who could attend four each. Vocations included accounting, chef, fireman, the military, urban planners, reporting, photography and pipe fitting. There was also representation in the fields of non-profit work, insurance, crop science, veterinary and entrepreneurship.

Presenters used varying methods, from video presentations to chef Amy Swanson’s idea of speaking to students through their stomachs with homemade ice cream.
Malone said some of the hits of the day were food science, advertising, speech pathology, and plumbing and welding where participants received hands-on experience.

“I thought all of the speakers were very informative,” said student Ben Menacher. “It was good to have so many speakers to choose form. The day was very enlightening.”

Keynote speaker Troy Collier, a former college athlete and coach and currently an area coaches representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, gave students advice on how to find and stay on a career path.

He used the acronym TIPS - learning Trends, Investigating what education will be needed; Passion for a field, and Seeking their future.
Of those, he spent the most time on passion.

“Find a career you love so you don’t have to work a day in your life,” said Collier, who added that passion can get you through disappointing times. He shared a story of personal heartbreak about when a team he helped coach at Missouri State failed to make the NCAA tournament.

“You know what kept me going? I loved it (coaching),” he said. His career has included assistant coaching stints at Missouri State, Ball State and Eastern Illinois universities.

His talk resonated with the 510 students who took part in career day.

“His acronym T.I.P.S. was helpful in considering a career,” said Michael Kilby.

Session speakers got their own reward out of the day, according to a note Malone received from Hughes.

“I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the student engagement, and the quality of their questions. It was a great experience,” she said.
This is the sixth year the high school has hosted Career Day.

Categories (3):News, Education, People

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