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Careers fair connects students and employers

Education 14 Feb, 2023 Follow News

KPMG’s Deann Blackman talks with students

Prefect Joshua Clarke and Careers Advisor Tania Johnson at the John Gray Careers Fair

The DEH staff Ernest Smith Lab and Field Officer, Simon Watler, Lab Technician and PR manager Yolanda Morales Carvalho

Deputy Head Girl Mikaelie Foster and careers Advisor Tania Johnson

The Health City booth was popular

The John Gray High School Careers Fair attracted around 50 businesses

By Lindsey Turnbull

Year 9, 10 and 11 students at John Gray High School were able to attend a busy careers fair last week, with booths from a variety of companies, businesses and government departments manned with staff ready and eager to talk to students about a career within their particular field.

Tania Johnson, Career Advisor with Career Services at the Department of Education Services, has been assisting at the careers fair for eight years and said the event had grown over those years, with approximately 50 booths this year.

“We hope that the students get exposure, because many of the students just think about being a lawyer, doctor or accountant, but there are so many other careers that they are not aware of. It’s just about exposing them to the different options they have, so they don’t have to follow the tradition career path. For example, if they want to be a carpenter, plumber, a teacher, we want them to look around as there are a lot of opportunities,” she advised.

Ms Johnson said the careers fair gives the students the chance to make connections, ask questions, ask about internships, scholarships, and helps the student work out if this is the type of company they want to work for. They aren’t as scared or intimidated when they approach the companies for a career, she believed, as a result of these connections.

Students are also able to find out what qualifications they need in order to get the career they desire. Ms Johnson explained that part of the career advice they give to students is to speak with the year 11s on a one-to-one basis and advise as to their next steps once graduating high school, such as then going on to UCCI or to applying for an overseas scholarship.

Fifteen-year-old prefect, Joshua Clarke, who is currently in year 11, is studying Physics, Chemistry, Biology, IT and PE. He advised:

“I’m looking at computer science. I love working with computers and I love being able to help people. I feel those two things go hand in hand,” he said. “Some of the companies require you to be 16 or 17 for internship, so next year hopefully I’ll be able to take some internships so I will have some knowledge for my career.”

Joshua said that Maples, Ogier and KPMG were all on his radar for possible internships next year.

Deann Blackman is the Manager for Local Talent Development and Corporate Citizenship at KPMG. She said the firm gained a lot from participating.

“We have been supporting the career fair for John Gray for several years now we are excited to be back in full swing post Covid. We’re excited to see all the students,” she confirmed. “It gives us the opportunity to share a lot more about what we have to offer, especially now that there are so many different avenues, different careers, outside the traditional careers that we used to know about. We have marketing - not just print marketing but also digital marketing - videography, editing. We have our IT department, compliance if they are interested in law. So, there are so many opportunities for them.”

Mikaelie Foster, 15, in Year 11, is the Deputy Head Girl at the school.

“The subjects that I chose were History, Social Studies and Business, just because I want to go into law. I chose Business because if law doesn’t work out, I think I would transfer over to business,” she advised.

The career fair gave her the chance to investigate lots of other opportunities career-wise also.

“Looking around, I can definitely tell that I should not completely close off with law because some of the career opportunities here give me the opportunity to get an alternative to law, such as the Health Services Authority.”

Mikaelie said she also looked at careers at Walkers and Dart.

Yolanda Morales Carvalho, PR Officer for the Department of Environmental Health, advised:

“This morning has given us the opportunity to educate the students about the opportunities they have if they decide to join us, because a lot of people believe we are only about solid waste, but we have the other area which is environmental health, with solid waste actually supporting environmental health,” she explained.

Ms Morales Carvalho said the students were learning about different aspects such as food safety, the environmental laboratory, and environmental engineering.

“This is all new for them. It helps us to change the perception,” she said, adding that within the solid waste side of the business there were many jobs available not just include collecting waste, including drivers, dealing with hazardous waste, managing heavy equipment, repairing and welding.

“On top of that their support system for both sides included jobs within the management unit, such as finance, PR, HR and IT, so it’s a whole package that we are offering them,” she said.

Ms Johnson said they really appreciated the support given to them by the employers and if any other employers wanted to get involved, they could reach out to them. The careers fairs happen each year around February and March and this year after the John Gray fair they will move to the Clifton Hunter and Layman Brac high schools.

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