Career Day educates and informs students in a variety of fields

March 21, 2020 — by Emilie Zhou and Shreya Katkere

On March 2 and 3, students participated in Career Day and had the opportunity to engage with two different speakers to learn more about their professions. According to parent organizer Beth Kingsley, there were a total of 75 speakers over the course of the two days, and the efforts of the parent volunteers, admin and staff and facilities ultimately helped make the event a success. 

“We were very happy with how the two days went,” Kingsley said. “We received a lot of good feedback from the speakers and parents about how well organized the event was, the breadth of speakers we had and that overall things ran smoothly.”

For the event, parent organizers Kingsley and Parul Samdarshi recruited the speakers and assigned students to two sessions after students completed the career interest survey that guidance secretary Kathy Sheridan helped create. Afterwards, Sheridan worked with assistant principals Kerry Mohnike, Rick Ellis and Matt Torrens on assigning speakers to specific rooms and finding teachers to supervise each speaker. Sheridan also worked with the custodians and tech department to help set up each location that a speaker would be at. 

On the day of the event, parent volunteers greeted the speakers, and leadership students helped direct them to their classrooms. According to Kingsley, the changes to the structure of this year’s Career Day proved to be successful.  

“In the past, Career Day lasted the majority of the morning and students would go to multiple speakers in one morning,” Kingsley said. “Dividing the speakers over two days not only allowed us to have more speakers but also it seemed students were not overwhelmed with having multiple talks in one day and teachers had minimal interruption to their class schedules since it was during the tutorial.”  

Senior Kaylene Morrison chose the Bio and Life Sciences Researcher and Chemical Engineer for her two careers.

“The Career Day speakers for bio and chem told us a lot about the different career options that were available and also spoke about the exciting research they’d done over the course of their careers. I thought it was pretty informative,” Morrison said.

While there were a few challenges, including technology problems and having to find substitutes to fill in for sick teachers who were supposed to supervise sessions,  Sheridan believes these were very minor issues and the event went pretty well overall. 

“A few of the speakers indicated they had a challenge with getting their presentation to project properly,” Kingsley said. “Considering the number of presenters we had, we were very pleased with all the work the SHS tech team did in advance to ensure the speakers had a seamless experience with their technical needs.”   

One issue that Kingsley and Sheridan both hope to fix next time is changing the survey so that students can rank their first and second choices for each day instead of just selecting what their top preferences are. In the future, they might also encourage students to write down questions ahead of time, as that might be more helpful for students who are too shy or embarrassed to ask questions. 

“We hope that exposing students to two different careers enabled the students to come away with some new knowledge about these careers that will help them decide if they want to continue to explore them beyond high school,” Kingsley said.

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Due to the lightning complex that occurred in the week of Aug.17, Santa Clara County is currently surrounded by wildfires, covering the city of Saratoga in heavy smoke. The air quality was in the range of 100 to 200 for the past five days, forcing SHS to close down. Photo by Selina Chen.


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