The high school held its annual Career Day on Oct. 19, providing freshmen with an invaluable opportunity to meet and network with professionals working in a wide variety of career paths. The students also learned about the pitfalls of social media in an informative closing presentation.
During the three half-hour workshop sessions, fashioned after a speed-dating event, the students sat down for 10 minutes at a time with the guest professionals, talking about the latter’s careers. At the sound of a bell, the students rotated to the next table and sat down with the next professional.
Serving as the keynote speaker was Deer Park alumnus and award-winning entrepreneur Jean Alerte, a member of the school’s Class of 2000. Originally from Port au Prince, Haiti, Alerte was an active member of Deer Park’s business department while a student, participating in the cooperative work experience and internship programs as well as the DECA club. He is the founder of the ACA Branding Agency and the Faith Grind Inspire entrepreneurial program; owner of the Brooklyn Swirl frozen yogurt shop, Julian Casimir Jewelry, and the Alerte, Carter & Associates management and public relations firm; executive director of the Unity in the Community Foundation of Brooklyn; and author of the books “Do Right, Do Good” and project "Single Man, Married Man.”
“Jean regaled the freshmen class with stories of his time as a student at Deer Park,” said Career Day coordinator Jill Perry-Eising, a member of the school’s business department. “He spoke about how taking business education courses and being part of our programs served as the foundation for his future success as an entrepreneur, lighting the flame for his entrepreneurial spirit. His participation in DECA competitions taught him all about marketing and finance, and he uses what he learned then in his business dealings today.
Chris Kauter, the district’s instructional technology administrator, hosted a closing workshop to the students, focused on how social media usage can negatively affect students’ future career aspirations.
“Hiring managers use Google to investigate potential candidates, as do college admissions counselors, and inappropriate posts can hurt your chances of getting into a college or a securing a job,” said Perry-Eising. “Mr. Kauter showed the students how one simple tweet of less than 140 characters ruined the career of a public relations executive who tweeted something insensitive right before boarding a plane. While she was in the air, a firestorm brewed, and she was already fired before her flight landed. He also showed videos examining addiction to Facebook and Instagram, and displayed examples of appropriate versus inappropriate social media posts.”