What do you want to be when you grow up?
That’s the question hundreds of students in the West Shore grapple with as they enter their final years of high school, and one Royal Bay Secondary School’s career fair aimed to answer.
As part of the inaugural career fair, which took place last Thursday, 72 people from various fields made presentations to the school’s 1,100 students about the path they took to end up in their respective careers.
“We always have loads of students approaching the end of Grade 12 who are still unsure and feeling quite lost,” said career fair organizer and teacher Danielle Huculak.
“We’re hopeful that the stories that they hear from the presenters will make them feel a bit better about that – that everybody feels that way when they leave high school and that change in careers is pretty common and not knowing is not necessarily a bad thing.”
There were presenters from a diverse range of industries, including health care workers, such as an anesthesiologist, an emergency room nurse and doctor, sciences, such as a biochemist, and an astronomer, as well as people from human resources, social works, educators, emergency services, business and law.
There were even people from the tech industry including someone who flies drones in the Antarctic and game designers.
Aside from learning about various fields, Huculak also hopes students realize there’s many paths to take to get to a career they love.
“It’s not always a straight line. People don’t leave high school and start university and find out where they’re going to be, oftentimes that takes a number of tries or testing different things and that change is a part of life and can still get you to really amazing places in your career,” Huculak said. “It’s an interesting pathway that people can follow.”
Students enjoyed learning about prospective careers as well.
Grade 10 student Mya Bains attended three sessions where she learned from an anesthesiologist, an athletic therapist and a lawyer.
“I thought it was really interesting. It helps people if they’re really passionate about a certain thing,” she said, adding she hopes to find a career that combines her love of sports and medicine. “It was really inspiring and cool because this is the first time Royal Bay has ever done a career fair.”
Huculak said the goal is to host a career fair every four years so all students will be able to attend it once in their high school career.