WSMS Holds Career Day
Willow Springs Middle School (WSMS) held their fourth Career Day Nov. 2. 40 presenters, mostly Lovejoy parents, shared their careers with the students. Kay Bordelon, counselor at WSMS, explained the goal of the event, “To expose students to life outside of these four walls. To answer their question when they ask, “Why do I have to learn this?” or say, “I’ll never use this.” They will see the connection between what they learn in school and how it is applied in careers. Presenters are given guidelines as to what to cover during their 30 minute presentations such as skill sets, education and personality types needed for their career.
After the presentations, students will participate in follow-up activities recapping the presentations and ideas of careers they would like to see at future career days.
Bordelon said the response from the community to be presenters was fantastic. Each student went to four presentations. The student chose two career presentations to attend and two careers were chosen for them by WSMS staff to allow them to see a broad range of career choices.
Careers represented included the industries of fire services, juvenile criminal defense attorney, medical, agricultural, telecommunications, legal, accounting, chiropractic, death investigator, sales, real estate, technology, engineering, veterinary, healthcare, information security, law enforcement, film industry, transportation, author, education, architecture, restaurant, physical therapy, banking and hospitality.
Bordelon said the top four career choice presentations chosen by the students to attend were death investigator, medical field, technology and legal.
During the presentation by the retired death investigator, students were told to be aware that the social media footprint they create now matters especially if they intend on entering the criminal justice field. “You are building your credibility now. Are you encouraging, or are you an online bully?” They were told being a death investigator involves securing property on the deceased, preserving evidence, arranging for proper transport of the deceased, notifying next of kin, obtaining medical records of deceased, taking a lot of photos of the scene, drawing pictures of the scene and presenting findings to the medical examiner. One of the questions asked by the students regarded special talents required for this career to which the presenter replied, “You must be kind and respectful. You must be calm under stress and able to write.” The presenter said that sometimes the next of kin is on the scene. “You need to treat the deceased as if they are someone you dearly loved who has passed on.” Answering what was the best thing about this career, the presenter said, “Getting to solve mysteries every day. Every scene is different.” Contrasting that to the worst aspect of this career the presenter said those involving babies and children.
Joe Bradshaw, owner of Bradshaw Farms located in Pittsburg, Texas, presented on a career in agriculture. He said they have 16,000 broiler chickens in a chicken house which they sell mainly to Chick-fil-a and Wendy’s. They also have cattle (F1 Angus crossbred bulls) and grow hay and forage which they sell to local dairies. This is a family business which Bradshaw has been a part of all his life. He has been told his family has been doing this since, “We came to America”. He described the chicken houses as very sterile environments, because, “We want to make sure you get a safe product.” He talked about how technology improvements have helped his industry. He said he can access the chicken houses from his phone and if something is wrong, he can address it based on the information he receives. He pointed out skills taught in school, such as science, math, writing, organization and communication are all used in the agriculture industry. Answering a student’s question as to what is the most satisfying part of his job, Bradshaw said, “My day. If you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. I have freedom.”
Two Juvenile Criminal Defense Attorneys, April Doyle and Debbie Benko co-presented. They both have similar backgrounds in that after they graduated from law school (Doyle from UT and Benko from Texas Tech), they both worked for the district attorney’s office. Once they each had children, they stayed home for quite a few years and then they returned to work part time as juvenile criminal defense attorneys. They said that attorneys do not have to love public speaking because many attorneys don’t go to court very often. However, criminal lawyers, such as Doyle and Benko are in court more than other types of lawyers. They explained that in the legal system, many kids are detained and discussed aspects of that process: They are accused of a crime, arrested, taken to Collin County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), put in an orange jumpsuit and then have their first hearing before a judge. Answering the student question “What do you like about your job?” They both answered that they like helping people prove they are innocent.