Career Fair 2015

By Jacquelyn Stevens & Brooke Troutman

 The Coginchaug Career Fair, open to CRHS and Strong Middle School students, was held on Oct. 21 and featured 47 presenters in careers in medicine, law, and media, among others.

Students explored potential careers and questioned representatives to see if their interests aligned with unknown fields. Senior Brendan Rushford “learned about being a game warden”, something he did not know about prior to the fair. He mentioned the importance of meeting adults in various professions as a good opportunity for high school students.

Architecture representative Jan Wojas attends career fairs to “understand young adults… It is a very narrow field and extremely difficult to get into, so I like meeting students with good work ethics, persistence, motivation, and drive,” Wojas said.

Powder Ridge representative Deb Bensenhaver had a different motive coming to the fair, looking to educate students on current employment opportunities. “It’s always good to get the word out on what’s being offered, and it’s actually perfect timing to come here because we’re holding a job fair this weekend.”

Junior Marissa Bizzario found local contacts helpful: “It makes it a lot more interesting seeing professions from your town and knowing what opportunities are close by.”

Another local representative was Durham’s Resident State Trooper Larry Morello wanted students to know “what to expect on the job”. “People watch TV and think that’s how it is, but we work holidays and on birthdays and anniversaries…You get held over, and people don’t understand that,” Morello said.

In addition to law enforcement, many students explored the sciences. “I liked the Intel booth best because they work on computer sciences, make apps, and help a computer go faster,” said senior Jesse Nelson. “I like technology.”

Overall, students seemed to find the career fair beneficial, finding new occupations or learning more about an occupation in which they were already interested. Senior Chiara Manna said, “I definitely thought this was a great way to get students’ minds rolling on what they want to do with their future, and Coginchaug should definitely keep this fair going.”

Front office secretary Mrs. Melissa Ronan interacted with the students and representatives before, during, and after the fair. “The turnout was wonderful,” she said. “A lot of [career representatives] come back, so I think they enjoy it as well.”

Coginchaug’s Transition Counselor Mrs. Elizabeth Shoudy expressed that “there was a big difference in participation from students.” She said that “the career fair allows students to see many different careers besides just what their parents do. It really benefits students…the more choices you have, the more helpful it is in deciding what to do after high school.”

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