Interviews, resumes, and aptitude tests — oh my! We explored the world of Career Connections Month throughout April, shedding light on the workforce and the available tools to carve out unique career paths. Students looked forward to panels featuring members of Row New York’s Young Executive Board, as well as useful information to help them mix and match their interests, talents, and career goals. Each lesson built on the previous week’s theme which deepened students’ understanding of the workforce.
Week 1: What’s your category?
We kicked off the month by discussing what a career was and what it meant to all of our student-athletes. They were able to explore this idea through a self-aptitude test which categorized their interests into six major skillsets: Doers, Thinkers, Creators, Helpers, Persuaders, and Organizers.
“I understood that I shouldn’t have a fixed mindset on a career. I should explore a variety of career choices.” – Bryan, Manhttan novice team
Once students identified their strengths, it was time for some investigation. Students spent time looking at career fields aligned with their skillsets. The practice helped them consider careers that were not previously on their radar.
Week 2: What’s your job?
“Almost nothing is as challenging as rowing a 2k… So when things are hard, [having that experience] allows you to step back, and realize this too shall pass. I’m going to get beyond this, I’m going to come out the other end. It may be painful along the way, but I can do it!” – Andrew Lewis, Private Equity Investor at ATL Partners
The speakers did a wonderful job communicating the need to try new things and take risks. They promoted defining values early on and then building life, career, and education goals from there. The Queens middle school girls particularly enjoyed talking to Richard Sabean, a voice over actor and owner of Renegade Squirrel Inc. Richard showed four, very funny, commercials he directed including one with a squirrel in it. The girls learned how he taught the squirrel tricks for the commercials. This, of course, was pure middle school entertainment.
“Today’s guests helped me understand that you don’t always need to know what you want to be, that kind of develops on your way there.” – Ricky, Manhattan varsity team
Week 3: What’s on your resume?
Job descriptions are a great way to identify how your skills match up with the jobs you are drawn to. They also help with identifying where skill gaps exist. In the third week, students wrote job descriptions which reflected their responsibilities as student-athletes. Additionally, they took on the challenge of matching common professions to their unique job descriptions.
Week 4: What did you learn?
The last week of Career Connections Month was spent connecting the dots. We practiced scenarios that recent college graduates and high school students may encounter as they consider career pathways. Unsurprisingly, this included mock interviews!
The main goal of this month’s theme was to demonstrate that there is space to be creative and to investigate areas of interest. By distilling skillsets, curiosities, and examining career options, we hope our students will dare to explore. It’s never too late to connect with your authentic self and pursue the things you are truly energized by. By giving high school and middle school students the chance to consider these bigger life themes, it’s our hope they will enter the career world with confidence.