By now, your students have probably been asked countless times what they want to be when they grow up. Some may already have detailed career goals, while others are still figuring out their path. Wherever they are in their career journey, all of your students will benefit from the words of wisdom offered in the Career Exploration Series.
NatStuCo has created this video series as part of the Adviser Resource Center and new student resources. It features an array of career fields and advice from former student leaders. In the videos, young professionals answer questions about what their career path has been like, recall lessons they learned as student council members, and share advice they would give current high school students to prepare for college and post-graduation life.
Current student council members can easily find kinship and relatability with alumni. Melyssa Lorenger, now a senior project engineer, says she joined student council out of a desire to be involved and tap into her creative side. “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after high school. I knew I was going to college; I knew I had to pick a degree program because I’m a little bit indecisive. I ended up with civil engineering because the courses sounded really interesting,” Lorenger says. She touts communication skills as one of the most important abilities she gleaned from her student council days.
Tara Lewis, a senior regional director of marketing for Yelp, recommends that students reach out and ask questions if there is a job or position that seems desirable. “I think being tenacious … is really important. If you realize that this direction’s not working, find the next direction. There’ll be options.” She encourages students who have an entrepreneurial spirit to start thinking about that now to begin understanding how to build a business model.
“If there’s something you’re passionate about, there’s a way to make a living off of it. If it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t mean that it can’t exist,” Lewis says. “I think that sometimes when you’re growing up you kind of think, ‘I have to be this and therefore that’s my identity.’ Sometimes, the further you get into your career path, the harder it is to kind of realize that you can be fluid in certain ways. It’s okay to change your mind also … It’s better to be true to yourself and figure out what is going to keep you fulfilled and motivated.”
The videos are accessible to advisers and student members without login and offer viewpoints from an array of careers—from people in engineering, marketing, law, the medical field, communications, teaching, and more—and all feature people who were once student council members. Encourage your students to watch and reflect on the videos, and remind them that it’s okay if they don’t have a plan just yet. The important part is that they consider what paths excite them the most. Get started at www.natstuco.org/career-exploration.