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Students at Sallie B. Howard School for the Arts and Education learned how to put their best foot forward when it comes to looking for a career.
About 15 representatives from areas companies went to the school to share information about careers ranging from television producer to clothing designer.
SBH history and social studies teacher Wilkins Joseph organized the career day to try to keep his students from making the same mistakes he did.
“I really, really think at this age, in eighth grade, they really need to know that because in ninth grade, every grade counts,” Joseph said. “A lot of these kids have big dreams, but they don’t know the work they have to put in in high school to get them there. We have a lot of kids that get out of high school and don’t go on to follow their dreams or going to college because they didn’t know the steps to get there.
“Letting these kids visit these entrepreneurs and business people and business leaders and give them the steps, it’s invaluable,” Joseph said.
“Sometimes children don’t know what path they want to take, and sometimes you have to show them what’s available to them,” said Judy Jenkins, of Quest Diagnostics, the country’s No. 1 medical diagnostics laboratory, represented at the event.
Eulanda Thorne, a school counselor from Wilson, said students can always change their mind about what they want to do, but it is important to start looking early.
“If you wait too late to even start considering, you are wasting years to figure out what you want to do,” Thorne said. “For example, my freshman year in college, I started out as a news broadcast major in communication, switched it to education, and now I’m a counselor. You are always changing, so don’t wait too late to start trying to figure it out.”
Joseph teaches them about how first impressions are everything.
“You have to dress properly. You have got to have eye contact. You have to give a proper hand shake,” Joseph said. “You also have got to know what you are going to say. You can’t have the good outside, and then when it’s time to speak, you don’t know what to say.”
“The job people, whatever you are trying out for, they judge you based off of your looks. I think that’s the first thing they would judge you off of,” said student Joshua Jordan.
“I feel like it is good to dress your best when you are looking for a job because your first impression is everything when you are meeting a new person. If you want to make the best impression, you need to dress the best,” said student Halee Thomas. “It is important to speak up to the person you are speaking with because if you are not speaking how you should then they are probably not going to understand you the best.”
Halee said to use a strong voice and speak up so the company representatives can see your potential.
“If you went in there all talking slang and talking crazy and dressed crazy, they are not going to want you,” said student Charles James.
“You don’t want to just be all over the place because then you wouldn’t be organized and people wouldn’t hire you because you wouldn’t look professional,” said student Tormyah Wilkins. “You need to speak up because people need to hear everything that you are saying so you need to know what you are talking about.”