Thursday, December 10, 2015

Burlington High School Career Exploration Program

As part of our efforts to provide students with as much information as possible to make effective decisions about their post-graduation plans, Burlington High School has initiated a career exploration committee. Their main goals are to educate our students about various career options and introduce them to professionals who can offer insight into the preparation requirements, daily responsibilities, and personal benefits and challenges of their chosen professions.

Special thanks to Mrs. Shannon Janovitz, Mr. Joe Attubato, Ms. Deb Deacon, Mrs. Amy Doughty, Mrs. Sheila Kennedy, Ms. Diozzi, Ms. Emily Minty, and Mrs. Leisel Smith for serving on the career exploration committee for organizing all the different events and this wonderful opportunity for our students. 

MISSION STATEMENT: The goal of Burlington High School’s Career Exploration Program is to empower students to make informed decisions about their futures. Through a collaboration between community leaders and professionals, BHS educators, and local businesses, the Career Exploration Program will help students connect their current learning with potential occupations, highlighting the skills they need to find success.

I. Self­ Assessment
This early activity in the career exploration process was designed to help students develop an understanding of themselves: their skills, their interests, and their potential. With this self­ knowledge, students will work to create personal, academic, and career goals that match their sense of self.
Today freshmen and sophomores were introduced to the “Do What You Are” survey (a Myers/Briggs type questionnaire). The Guidance department facilitated the completion of this task with students. 

II. ​Career Breakfast
Today, we offered two 35 minutes sessions where students could meet with professionals that work in fields that are of interest to them. These informal, small gatherings allow students to explore professional fields of interest by meeting with individuals currently in those professions. Speakers will start by sharing their background and identifying the skills and training required for their jobs, providing up­ to ­date occupational information. They will also discuss the day ­to ­day realities of their work to give students a realistic understanding of the profession. To conclude the meeting, speakers will address student questions and offer practical advice to those hoping to pursue a similar career. The breakfasts are designed to help students develop a realistic understanding of various careers and academic paths, and to make a plan detailing how they will achieve their aspirations.

A big thank you to the various professionals who took time out of their busy schedules to offer their insights and advice to our students:

Graphic Design - Gina Janovitz
Costume Design - Taryn Weaver

Corporate Sales, Accounting and Finance - Melissa Gibbs, Sonia Rollins and Darci Sunnerberg

Entrepreneurship - Rick Parker

Human Resources and Finance - Dean Oliver
Marketing - Ray Graber and Kevin Noke
Product Development and Market Management - Jorge Andrade and Craig Giansiracusa

Real Estate and Insurance - Kelly Papas and Terri Sheppard

Journalism and Film - Geoff Edgers
Publicity and Public Relations - Angela Mastrogiacomo and Susan Ryan-Vollmar

Meg Bednarcik, Robin Brenner, Lauren McAuliffe and Meg Sheehy

Electrical Engineering - John Porter

Information Technology - Kenneth Hanson and Som Sakunala

Medical Engineering - Melissa Coppola and Michael Lewis
Software Engineering - Bill McCarthy and Eleanor O’Neill

Officer Tara Connors, Billerica PD and Lt Mark Saia and Sgt Brian Carey retired MBTA Police

Robert C. Buckley

Genetic Counseling and Research Administration - Linda Rodgers and Gary Smith
Occupational Therapy - Jen Papasadoro

Orthopedic Surgery - Elizabeth Martin
Trauma Program - Deborah Sullivan

Veterans Services - Chris Hanafin

Brendan Little

Daphne Davidson

Biopharmaceuticals and Forensic Science - Greg Conley, Shauna Mason and
Jana Thomas MA State Police Crime Lab

Jim Martin and Jon Rose

Kim Madrak

III. ​Job Shadow Day
The job shadow program allows students to gain a real­ world understanding of a field of interest by working one ­on ­one with a professional in that field, and following that professional through a typical day on the job. This experience brings the profession beyond the theoretical and gives students a practical understanding of the work and skills involved. This program is offered to juniors and seniors, typically at the end of March. Students will attend various Off­ Campus Sites (that are determined by the student and job shadow day committee). Students will register for the program, submit a plan for their shadow, contact the site mentor, and schedule the day. The career program committee will check in with site mentors to confirm the placement. Students will complete a reflection assignment upon completion of the shadow.

IV.​ Senior Internships

For the last several years Burlington High School has piloted a senior internship program. We are looking to continue this process and our goals is to continue more students out on internships each year. The Senior Internship Program is an opportunity for students to maximize an authentic learning experience by having the opportunity, during the fourth quarter of their senior year, to interact in a workplace and explore a career field of interest.
The Burlington High School Senior Internship Program will allow qualifying seniors to participate in active 21st Century Learning.  Students will focus on strengthening skills essential for success in today’s world: critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration.  They will learn to apply practical knowledge outside of the traditional classroom setting while gaining real world experience. Students will also learn to blend their skills, content knowledge and expertise with support from their intern host to master the multi-dimensional abilities required of them in the 21st century.
Internships for deserving seniors will take place during the fourth quarter of senior year.  Placements may be in a wide variety of experiences including:  fine arts, communication and media, science, engineering, and technology, business and financial services, medical and health services, and personal and community services.   
Students may design their internship program by remaining in some classes and participate in the Internship program part-time or they may terminate their classes after third quarter and focus on the internship full time during quarter 4.  

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