Juniors and seniors explore career paths on Job Shadow Day
Guest speaker John Morgan shares career advice to with students at the post-shadow luncheon. (Rubina Halwani/City Journals)
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On Feb. 2, Canyons School District held its annual Job Shadow Day. This year is the seventh year of the district-wide event. Approximately 90 students and 40 mentors from businesses all across the Salt Lake Valley participated in the event.
Eileen Kasteler, the work-based learning facilitator at Brighton High School, said students shadowed lawyers, CEOs, mechanics, engineers, sales people, illustrators, computer programmers, community outreach workers, HR directors and doctors.
“The activity is aimed for students in the junior and senior grades. Interested students sign up with the work-based learning facilitator at each of the high schools on a first-come basis,” Kasteler said.
Kasteler explained that students would first drive to the site to meet mentors. They would then spend one to three hours shadowing. Finally, both students and mentors would dine and discuss the experience over lunch. Companies were asked to cover the cost of $20 per person for lunch.
Computer Technology Education (CTE) Director Janet Goble welcomed students and their mentors at the post-shadow luncheon.
“We just appreciate everyone, our business partners and students for taking advantage of this great opportunity,” Goble said. “By partnering with the business community, CTE programs prepare students for the workforce by exposing them to the technologies and job skills they’ll need.”
Superintendent Jim Briscoe, school board members, high school principals/vice principals and work-based learning facilitators from each school also attended the luncheon.
Briscoe thanked mentors and praised the job-shadow experience. He said the experience results in having a significant impact on students.
“I am absolutely convinced that every single student in the United States should spend a full day (in the workforce),” Briscoe said.
He mentioned that shadowing helps students realize whether or not to follow a certain career path in their future.
Former professional football player and current business owner John Madsen served as the keynote speaker for the luncheon. He shared seven principles of motivation with students.
The first five principles focus on elements for achievement: dream big, believe in yourself, pursue your passion, include magic ingredients (desire, determination and action) and persistence. The last two principles addressed personal fears.
“Fear of failure kills success,” Madsen said.
He said the same of the fear of criticism. He shared his own experiences with failure and success in his sports and business career.
Emma Weatherhead from the Sandy Fire Department was a first-year mentor and had three students with her. She said she first learned about the shadow day from her neighbor.
“I like the idea of mentorship, because it just gives people opportunities that they may not necessarily see regularly,” she said.
Weatherhead said it was a wonderful experience to open up their horizons on how many different things they can go into in emergency services.
She added that she plans to host her mentees for an additional day so the students can see and learn more about what happens in her job.
Two seniors, Marin Ward and Zoe Kouris from Corner Canyon High School, had the opportunity to shadow Judge Mark S. Kouris, third district court. They both said they enjoyed the experience and would like to pursue law-related career opportunities.
One highlight of the event was ninth-grader Jaxson Carr, from Corner Canyon High School, who joined the shadow-day event. He said he expressed a serious interest to his facilitator to participate.
“We hope students come away excited about starting on their own career path,” Kasteler said. “Students are nearing the time when they will need to make crucial decisions about their career path and education. We hope our students will ask lots of insightful questions from their job-shadow host to gain some valuable knowledge about the real world of work so they can begin to plan for their futures.”