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Students explore future career options

HJ Cody School offers Career Presentation Day
Dr. Lana Keating, from Parkland Veterinary Hospital in Sylvan Lake, answered questions about her career as a veterinarian and the education she took to get there. (Photo by Michaela Ludwig)

It can be a daunting task, deciding what you want to be when you grow up. (So daunting, in fact, that Peter Pan just avoided growing up all together.)

To help students explore their options and figure out what careers might be a good fit, HJ Cody School recently hosted a Career Presentation Day. This is an event the school has put on in the past and guest speakers are invited in to give presentations on their careers ¬– what their day is like, what education was required, what drew them to that career and any other questions the students want answered.

The Career Presentation Day was held on Wednesday, Nov. 16, and there were two sessions students could attend – presentations held from 10:55 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. and again from 11:30 a.m. to noon. During each session, different speakers occupied a classroom in the school and students could decide what presentation might interest them and sit in. Presenters covered occupations such as occupational therapist, speech pathologist, air traffic controller, mortician, lawyer, canine arson investigator, archivist, truck driver, electrician, Canadian Coast Guard, Armed Forces, biologist, make-up artist, accountant, veterinarian, IT specialist, psychologist, childcare worker and more. There was also a presentation that covered scholarships and applying to post-secondary school.

Amy Faucher, a grade 12 student, sat in on the clothing designer and tailor presentation.

“I’ve always found the fashion industry interesting and I wanted to see how someone in that industry felt about it,” Faucher said. However, she decided maybe that wasn’t the career path for her. Another positive regarding Career Presentation Day – students may also decide what careers they don’t want.

“I’d rather make something for myself, than in a factory,” Faucher explained. “I want to continue with fashion, but maybe in a different capacity than what I learned about today.”

She said the presentation was helpful and she asked questions of the presenter, Magdy Beshay, who operates a tailor shop in Red Deer.

“I’m wanting to make my grad dress this year and I did get some information about that,” Faucher said.

Ameya Rentmeester, a grade 11 student, sat in on the veterinarian presentation, given by Dr. Lana Keating from Parkland Veterinary Hospital in Sylvan Lake.

“I thought it was very informative,” said Rentmeester. “I was astonished by how long it takes to become a vet, and all the little things that matter for getting in – grades, of course, and volunteering.”

Rentmeester said when she was younger, she often watched Dr. Oakley on TV, a veterinarian from the Yukon, and was inspired by what she was seeing.

“My interests have changed over the years, so I’m not sure,” she said. “I’m trying to figure things out.”

Rentmeester said a career in the medical field is something she’s interested in, whether that’s a vet, a nurse or maybe something else.

“It was certainly good to get the information,” she said of the vet presentation. “I found it very helpful and informative. I learned a lot.”

Rentmeester also took the opportunity to sit in on the mortician presentation.

“It was fascinating,” she said, going on to explain the differences between a funeral director and an embalmer and all of the information she learned during the presentation.

“It’s a very important job,” she said. “And I’m told it’s a highly respected job, as well.”

In October, students had filled out a survey and put in their requests for what careers they would be interested in hearing about. Rentmeester had requested a nurse come in to speak, but that didn’t end up making the final list.

Across the school, students were able to learn firsthand about various career options. A teacher also sat in on each presentation, to cover any questions the students may not have considered.

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