Career Day beneficial to students, but some presenters need more guidance

January 22, 2015 — by third-period Falcon staff

While Career Day can help provide students with new options and perspectives, it’s not always as useful as it could be. A lack of student interest and dull presentations can render the day a waste of time.

There is an enormous world of opportunity outside of the “Saratoga Bubble.” A huge number of colleges, hundreds of fields of study — and with that, a variety of career paths.  

But with this array of opportunities come several difficult decisions. Engineering or Biochemistry? Architect or stockbroker? Career Day, a day when professionals from different fields come to present to aspiring students, is intended to help answer these questions.

And while Career Day can help provide students with new options and perspectives, it’s not always as useful as it could be. A lack of student interest and dull presentations can render the day a waste of time.

But the truth is that you get what you put in. If students pick topics that they have no interest in, they will have wasted hours of a school day. However, if they put thought into picking careers and listen attentively, there is real value in the presentations.

At the same time, however, presenters should reciprocate students’ interest by actually giving relevant and useful material about their field. The presenters are supposed to give a brief synopsis of their field, but have, on some occasions, instead explained their personal opinions on the field. Two years ago, some students complained that instead of explaining the positive aspects of a field, a presenter focused instead on why students shouldn’t enter the field, discouraging a number of genuinely interested students.

Furthermore, some presenters with a lack of material try to stumble their way through a presentation, adding to the perception of time being wasted.

Although the school does give presenters some guidelines on what and how to present, perhaps even more guidance is needed. Maybe the school could use the power of video to show presenters examples of what good presentations look and sound like. We have the feeling that some could do significantly better if they had specific models to copy.  

In a good presentation, students generally want to receive relevant information in a concise manner. Also, anything that involves student participation or interaction helps students get hands-on experience of what the career entails. For instance, it’s always a hit when a chef treats the students to culinary delights.

Additionally, it is important that students give the school accurate feedback on the presenters once Career Day is over. That way, good presenters will be invited back and weaker ones can be replaced.

Most of us don’t really know what we will be doing in 10 or 20 years, but maybe a highly effective Career Day can help provide some valuable clues about what we should be when we grow up.

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