The freshman through senior classes selected four careers out of 13 options to learn about throughout the morning from professionals ranging from artists and journalists to medical professionals and technology specialists.
According to Ross Lingle, NHS advisor, school counselor and high school Spanish and government teacher, the goal of the day is to assist students in obtaining experience with different careers while they are still in high school.
“The idea is to help [the students] better plan for the future,” Lingle said. “If they choose four different people for four years, that is 16 careers they are exposed to.”
High school principal John Sullivan said he believes the exposure to different careers is beneficial to the students.
“This day gives them the ability to explore what they want so they get an idea of what they may want to do in the future,” Sullivan said. “Or even what they may not want to do.”
NHS students were involved in “tracking down” the professionals from the area they were interested in hearing from, but Lingle said he helped fill the slots to get a well-rounded group of presenters.
“Right now, engineering and medicine are really popular fields,” Lingle said. “There is a big push for STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—careers nationwide. I see students are interested in those too, which is great because then they take more advanced classes in those areas.”
Senior Samantha Welch is the NHS president at Ennis High School and the task of organizing the event fell to her. According to Welch, the students appreciated career day last year and setting up another event was one of the primary agenda items at this year’s first NHS meeting.
“We had several meetings talking about who we wanted to come in and speak,” Welch said. “Those first couple meetings were just coming up with ideas about people in the community we wanted to hear from. Then it was divide and conquer to get professionals on board.”
Welch said she worked hard to ensure participating students had various professions to choose from for the day.
“This way [students] can learn a little more about the career they are interested in,” Welch said. “You might say, ‘hey, I want to be a doctor,’ but not really understand what that means until you talk to a doctor. Or, you might never have considered being a biologist but once you heard about that career it sounded interesting.”
Welch believes it is important that the event includes upper and under classmen.
“It is really important for freshmen to go and start thinking about life after high school,” she said. “But it is probably more relevant for juniors and seniors because that decision is right before them.”