Archive for Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Local students investigate careers opportunities at fair

April 12, 2006

From an Atchison radio station to First State Bank and Trust, Tonganoxie High School students got a glimpse last week at what the "real world" has to offer.

About 45 professionals were represented at Thursday's career fair in the Tonganoxie Junior High gymnasium.

THS students from all four grades roamed from table to table, soaking up information about several occupations.

High school counselor Scott Smith said this year's career fair was a success. In past fairs, Smith has locked in about 40 professionals for the event. This year, there were 45.

"The comments I have received from both the professionals that participate, as well as the kids seemed very positive," Smith said.

In the five years Smith has been at THS, he has held a career fair three times. He said he plans the fair every other year because it keeps the school from "wearing out the participants" and makes the fair a more important event for students.

"I think they respond to it, that they know it's a special event," Smith said.

When organizing the career fair, Smith said he aims at compiling a good cross section of professions.

For instance, a representative from George Butler Associates of Lenexa, was on hand to talk with students interested in civil engineering. Smith said even though some students might be interested in chemical engineering, he thought the civil engineering firm still could provide students with an idea of what the profession is like.

Brittany Harbour, a THS junior, said the career fair is an event the school should continue to offer students.

Tyler Thomas, a fellow junior, agreed.

"It's good for the school district and the kids," Thomas said.

Harbour wants to pursue a career in pharmaceuticals, while Thomas envisions a career in the Army. All branches of the military were represented at the career fair. Some other businesses represented included restaurants, law firms and medicine, among others.

Brittney Pendleton, also a junior, said she plans to major in business in college with an emphasis in management. She looked into cosmetology, but after visiting the First State Bank and Trust booth, she said she was leaning toward banking.

At one booth, students had the opportunity to participate in promotional radio segments. A representative from KAIR radio, Atchison, had students record sound bites to be used on air.

Overall, students seemed receptive to the various career opportunities. The professionals also had some positive feedback about the students.

"They thought the kids were fairly polite and inquisitive compared to some of the other districts they have attended," Smith said.

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