Eighth graders exposed to careers | NevadaAppeal.com

Eighth graders exposed to careers

by Teri Vance

Jacque Handley, the vice principal’s secretary at Eagle Valley Middle School, told eighth-graders Monday about her life and how she reached her position at the school.

“I’m doing what I do because it works for me,” she said. “I get the best of both worlds – I can be with my family and I get to work with you guys.”

She told of her upbringing in the small town of Tonopah and how she married young. She said she did not have the opportunity to go to college but was pleased with her career.

“It kind of chose me, but I like what I do,” she said. “I wouldn’t change it.”

Handley was one of 13 guest speakers who visited the school’s career fair to inform students of various jobs.

“When it comes time to choose a profession, the more information they have about jobs, the better,” said science teacher Eric Anderson. “There’s a lot of myths out there about jobs.”

The speakers were divided into groups of three or four and held a panel discussion with the students. The speakers rotated into the four different classrooms.

“I learned it’s actually a lot harder to get a job in this town than I thought it would be,” said Sebastian Musielak, 13. “You have to go through more schooling than I thought.”

Speakers gave advice to the students about preparing for the future.

“I’d highly recommend a high school diploma,” said Bruce Svensson, the senior account representative for Southwest Gas Corp. “It’s the minimum requirement.”

Handley told them to take advantage of life and learn from all experiences.

“Make sure you explore what’s out there,” she said. “You’re never too old to change, you’re never too old to learn.”

Students were given a real-life look at the job world.

During a question and answer session, one student asked the panel, “What did you want to be when you were our age?”

Svensson said he always wanted to be an artist but that he could not make enough money at it.

“After about five or six job changes, I ended up at Southwest Gas,” he said. “You do what you can to make a living and provide for your family.”

The career fair was part of an effort to raise the students’ awareness of the career field.

It started with job shadowing on Feb. 2, when students followed an adult through the work day.

In March, high school students are scheduled to speak with the students about what high school has to offer.

“We want them exposed to as many career paths and professions as possible,” said Cindy Pennington, resource teacher.