Students get hands-on with career exploration
Jessica Brklich wants a job in interior design. At least for now. But if something else grabs her eye, Brklich is ready to switch goals. And the Brainerd High School (BHS) junior can. In fact, she was encouraged to try out every job at Career Exp...
Jessica Brklich wants a job in interior design. At least for now.
But if something else grabs her eye, Brklich is ready to switch goals.
And the Brainerd High School (BHS) junior can. In fact, she was encouraged to try out every job at Career Exploration Day Friday at Central Lakes College (CLC).
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It's an initiative of Bridges Career Academies and Workplace Connection. The goal: to integrate work-based learning between schools and businesses.
Nearly 2,400 students from 23 school districts got a first-hand look at more than 200 career options at the event.
The career clusters included: Engineering, manufacturing and technology; business, management and administration; human services; health sciences; agriculture, food and natural resources; arts, communication and information systems.
Brklich and friend Korbyn D'Ambrogio, a BHS sophomore, made their way around the crowded halls of CLC, stopping at career booths that caught their eyes.
Neither were committed to one life pathway. Instead, it was their big chance to dig their hands in just about every field possible.
That's why both decided to attend the event.
"It's hands-on," Brklich said.
"It's visual," D'Ambrogio said, adding the career day was a better alternative than researching jobs online.
D'Ambrogio wants to look more into the law enforcement field. She wants to be an FBI agent and then eventually get into the Secret Service.
Down the hall, past the agriculture stand and mechanics machinery, BHS sophomores Julianna Senica and Halee Reichenbach take a break from their career navigation.
Both girls thought learning about flower arrangements was fun, but not a career path they would choose.
Reichenbach decided to look more into massage therapy. Senica just liked the break from her normal classes.
Getting a better sense of a slew of job fields at once helps focus more on what someone would like to do, Reichenbach said.
Senica added, "When it's in person like this, you actually get to experience and see a lot you wouldn't be able to (otherwise)."
Menahga High School juniors Kevin Lindquist and Branden Jones took the event as a chance to recruit their peers to their passion: robotics.
The teens, along with other members of the school's Vex Robotics Team, hosted a demonstration of their work. They used controls to move robots over a large surface, shifting blocks and stacking shapes.
"We're showing others how robots work and what robotics is all about," Lindquist said.
Jones added the exposure to the field will grip interest in students who otherwise wouldn't consider the career field.
Team instructor Jlayne Torma said the demonstration gives students a chance to interact with other team members.
"It also gets others excited about robotics," she said.
School districts participating in the Career Exploration Day included: Aitkin, Bertha-Hewitt, Brainerd, Browerville, Crosby-Ironton, Eagle Valley, Freshwater District, Henning, Isle, Little Falls, Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, Menahga, Onamia, Pequot Lakes, Pierz, Pillager, Pine River-Backus, Sebeka, Staples-Motley, Swanville, Upsala, Verndale and Wadena-Deer Creek.