Plainville High students learn about careers

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Plainville High School hosted the seventh annual Career Day on Friday, Nov. 30, which featured 60 presenters.

Superintendent Dr. Maureen Brummett extended thanks to all of the presenters, who she said “collectively represent a wide array of careers that our students have identified as professions that they may want to pursue.”

“I spend every day with these students and I can’t tell you how important it is for them to hear from you,,” said Carl Johnson, Plainville High School principal, “ and to understand the different options they have when they graduate high school, and thinking about where they’re going to go in their lives after they leave this place.”

Dr. Glynis Fitzgerald, the associate vice president, academic affairs, and dean of graduate studies at Central Connecticut State University, hosted the “What can I do with a major in communication?” seminar.

She showed several examples of work that were created by her students, such as trailers for short films, previews for documentaries, and brochures that were created to help local non-profit and other kinds of community organizations. And, discussed how a degree in communications can prepare you for work such as personal relations, or helping other people learn to communicate effectively, as Fitzgerald does as the Subject Matter Expert for the Hyundai Motor Group.

Phoebe Gediman, a junior, attended the seminar because she is interested in learning more about a career in journalism, as well as education, in which she would want to be an English teacher. And while she thought Fitzgerald’s presentation would have more information regarding journalism, she did appreciate Fitzgerald’s advice – to be open to options.

Steve Michaud, an accounting and personal finance teacher in Plainville and Monroe, and Angelo Pietri, assistant vice president for Infinex Financial Group, co-hosted a seminar on financial literacy.

Pietri opened his portion of the presentation by telling the students to “always work your butt off,” no matter what job you start, and, to always consider their “earning power,” which he said is your resume.

Both gentlemen said it’s important to not “spend more money than you make,” and to prepare for the future by setting aside a little bit of money from each paycheck, so that you’ll have a cushion for when you reach retirement.

Tanairy Barton, a senior, said she chose to attend this seminar because “money is a major part of your journey” no matter who you are or what career you choose. Barton hopes to pursue a career as a kindergarten teacher, after going for a doctorate in literature. And while she still had more questions regarding stocks and bonds, she said that she learned that “assets are the best things,” as they allow you to make additional income while being able to focus on other interests or work.

New to this year’s career day event was a seminar titled “Interview Skills.” Gayle Alpert, a talent acquisition manager for Loureiro Engineering Associates, offered advice on how to prepare for an interview, how to conduct yourself while in the interview, and even the proper protocol for following up with a company after the interview.

Alpert’s closing piece of advice? “You can never make a second first impression.”

Xavier Pastor, a sophomore, said that even though the seminar was mandatory, he learned a lot of preparatory skills as he begins to look for the right career path. Pastor, a football player, went into career day with the hopes of “staying in sports,” either as a physical trainer or personal trainer. He attended the seminars on physical therapy and personal training, but found that physical therapy interested him more. He is also considering going into the occupational therapy field.

Steve LePage, assistant superintendent of Plainville Community Schools, is one of the 10 members of the Student Success Planning Committee, who are responsible for putting together career day. The committee was formed in 2012 when the state Department of Education required that every student from grades six to 12 have a student success plan.

LePage said the committee works to shape the career day program around topics students have shown interest in, making each career day unique as it will feature different career paths.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.