Career Day: Students gain insights into vocations

Friday, October 13, 2017
Be Pro Be Proud, an initiative led by the Associated Industries of Arkansas, brought a mobile unit to Green Forest High School for Career Day on Thursday, sharing information with students about careers in welding and resources to search for jobs in Arkansas.
Photo by Tavi Ellis/Carroll County News

Green Forest High School students got an insight into job opportunities in the area Thursday during Career Day.

Counselor Trista Killingsworth said 30 speakers from local businesses attended Career Day, each giving presentations to five classes about the specifics of their jobs and how students could enter the same field.

“We wanted to get the community in to tell students what’s available around here and what those jobs are like,” Killingsworth said. “For instance, a student may think about the medical field and think of nursing, but they may not think about radiology technology and all the other aspects of the medical field.”

She continued, “Some of our students may think ‘I’m good at business, but I like the medical field because that’s my interest.’ So what do we have to offer in our area that fits that? That was our goal.”

While most of the speakers were from Carroll County, Killingsworth said a few, such as the J.B. Hunt representatives and Dr. Latisha Settlage of the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS), came from farther away to make their presentations.

She said Principal Terry Darnell also brought in the Be Pro Be Proud mobile unit, which offered information on welding technology and various resources students can use to search for jobs in Arkansas.

“It was all interactive, so it’s like they’re playing games while sorting out this information,” she said.

Green Forest students got to attend five different presentations for Career Day, and each had a favorite among the speakers.

Senior Alex Cenobio said he enjoyed hearing from the U.S. Marines and U.S. Army representatives.

“I think the Marines and the Army were my favorite,” he said. “It was a good experience. They told me what would be happening if I went into that career and what I should be expecting.”

Senior Christopher Portillo said he found two of the speakers really interesting.

“I enjoyed hearing from J.B. Hunt and Cornerstone Bank,” he said. “I have an interest and background in technology, so going to the J.B. Hunt session really helped because the speaker was talking about programming and computer systems for J.B. Hunt. He’s the main senior developer there.”

Portillo said Career Day even helped him do a bit of professional networking.

“In my session with Carroll Electric, I actually made contact with someone,” he said. “I asked him for more information and he gave me a number I could contact to get my foot in the door.”

Sophomore Tyeisha Poyner said Career Day helped her narrow in on what she needed to do to get into her chosen field.

“Dr. Settlage was my favorite speaker. She was very informative and overall a very good speaker,” she said. “I already had a major idea of what I wanted to do, but Career Day helped me specify what I need to do to get to that field.”

She said she wants to be a manager in coding, and the presentations helped her get an idea of how she could get into that position by attending a business college.

“I also got to go through the J.B. Hunt session, which informed me about computer systems and stuff like that,” Poyner said. “They showed he what I was going to have to do and that my job won’t only be about coding. I’ll also learn about the company I work for.”

She said the only thing she would like to change about Career Day is having it be longer.

“I hope we have another Career Day,” Poyner said. “It was really informative. Next time, I hope it’s longer so I can learn more about the different options out there.”

Junior Bristol Bishop said his favorite speaker was Bud Phillips, who spoke about a few different careers fields he had experience in.

“He had more than one topic to talk to us about,” Bishop said. “He was a detective in Pine Bluff, and his stories were neat. It’s not something you hear every day. He also talked about how he started out farming with one of my relatives north of Berryville.”

He said Phillips also gave his group some advice to remember for any career field they enter.

“His advice was ‘Do what you love now, so whenever you get older you’re not wishing you had done something different,’ ” Bishop said.

Killingsworth said she was pleased with the success of Career Day.

“I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the speakers, students and faculty,” she said. “Our students were well-behaved, and the faculty were great. We really appreciate the speakers donating their time and missing work to do this.”

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