Freshmen Find New Paths on Career Day

Deer Park High School freshmen got a head start on developing their career ideas at the school’s annual Career Day, making the most of the opportunity to learn from 45 presenters from a variety of careers, including financial experts, lawyers, physicians, nurses, psychologists, dentists, engineers, firefighters, electricians, social workers, broadcasters, authors, artists and athletic trainers.

The day began with a keynote presentation by Thomas Henkel, the Northeast regional director for Mitel Corporation, who spoke to the more than 325 eager students about setting goals, overcoming setbacks and striving for success.

The freshmen then attended three workshops in the cafeteria and gyms, where they were broken into small groups of 8-10 students and sat down at a table with a professional for 10 minutes to discuss his or her career. At the sound of a bell, the students got up and rotated to the next table to meet with another professional for 10 minutes. Each student was introduced to 10 different professionals throughout the course of the event, including representatives from Merrill Lynch, Century 21, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Dowling College, Bayville Dental, Innovative Medical Care, Radvision, Cascone & Kluepfel, Americorps, Huntington Hospital, Primerica, Island Orthodontics, First National Bank of Long Island, Smithtown Salon, Roussis International, SUNY College at Old Westbury, Winthrop University Hospital, the Air National Guard, Good Samaritan Hospital, Lake Insurance, Teachers Federal Credit Union, and the Fire Department of New York, as well as faculty and staff members from throughout the Deer Park School District. Also serving as a presenter was Deer Park Board of Education trustee Donna Marie Elliott, discussing her experience as the founder of the Safety & Environmental Solutions firm with the students.

Assisting the event presenters throughout the morning were members of the high school’s senior internship program, which helps students find and complete unique internships in areas of interest to them. “For many of the students, this was the first time they were able to speak with a professional in the field in which they are interested, and some even secured an internship for the rest of the school year,” said teacher Christopher Kauter, the internship program’s adviser.
“Our goal was to expose our freshmen to a variety of careers that may pique their interest and set them on a career path,” said Career Day coordinator Jill Perry-Eising, a member of the school’s business department. “For example, if a freshman met an accountant during the day whose discussion interested him or her, the student might then take elective classes such as accounting, financial management and personal finance, providing a clear idea of a career pathway to pursue in college. I believe we accomplished that goal.”