Junior class President Philip Kim and Vice President Jenny Han coordinated the first ever Career Day, where speakers from various professional fields discussed their careers with Stuyvesant students. It took place after school in the student cafeteria on Monday, April 28.
The event was designed to “help students find a general notion of what they might be interested in for the future,” Kim said.
The speakers included United Nations (UN) Human Resources Representative Nelly Keita, UN Deputy John Washburn, accountant Daniel Zica, NY1 reporter Roger Clark, and curator of The American Museum of Natural History and former National Aeronautics and Space Administration worker Mordecai-Mark Mac Low.
To advertise the event, Kim and Han distributed fliers on the Tribeca Bridge, posted flyers on school bulletins, made a Public Address announcement during homeroom and created a Facebook event.
According to health teacher and Coordinator of Student Affairs Lisa Weinwurm, Brooklyn Technical High School and several other high schools host annual Career Days.
“We became inspired to organize one at Stuy too,” Han said.
Initially, only juniors were invited to attend Career Day. According to Han, the senior caucus declined to participate because a large majority of the seniors have already decided their majors and future career plans.
Career Day was extended to the entire student body because “we thought it could benefit everybody because anybody could learn from this experience,” Han said.
Raffles, free refreshments and pizza were distributed to the attending students. A portion of the expenses were paid for by funds raised from the junior caucus’ Valentine’s Day candy sales.
A raffle number was distributed to each student in their fliers. The prizes included gift cards to Starbucks, Jamba Juice and the Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 movie theater.
According to Han, not many students attended. “I expected a lot more people to show up for this event [but] it was understandable because it was held on the first day back from break and [chorus teacher Holly] Hall called sectionals that day,” she said. Sectionals are chorus rehearsals held after school. Hall requires all her students to attend sectionals.
Some students did not attend because of Advanced Placement (AP) tutoring held after school.
“I couldn’t go because I wanted to go to AP chemistry review,” junior Hyunjee Cho said.
“I had to study for the upcoming World History AP,” sophomore Nisa Beoceriklisoy said. “I felt it was not important to go because I can find information on any career I desire on the Internet, television shows, and people around me.”
Students who attended the event responded positively.
“[Career Day] helped me become more aware of paths I never considered before” junior Naomi Chun said. “I always wanted to be a news reporter when I was young so it was interesting to see that presented.”
“It got me thinking about my options […] I now realize that college is not so far away and I need to start taking things seriously,” sophomore Tasfia Nayem said.
Junior Caroline Sagalchik said, “It was a great opportunity to gain insight in some fields of work [but] there was clearly a lack of attendance [and the] speakers focused too much on general idea.”
“This event is something everyone can learn from [so] if Phil and I are elected next year for senior caucus, we will work on a better Career Day and get more people to attend,” Han said.
Kim and Han hope to accomplish this by rallying more participation from the student body, collaborating with more Student Union members and Stuyvesant organizations such as ARISTA. Han said, “[We] think that it should become a future Stuy tradition.”