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Career Day (Read more)

Reality Check
Those in the Know Share Insights at Career Day


Career days are traditionally designed to enlighten students about what awaits them at college and in the world of work, generally in terms of opportunities. Occasionally, it produces the extra benefit of alerting students to unanticipated realities. 

“That safety net in high school is gone.”

            That was the answer given by Asya Meadows, SJHS Class of ’15, to the question, “What’s one of the differences between high school and college?”

            “You have to learn to do things on your own,” she added.

            The Loyola University senior joined two other St. Joseph HS alumni who are currently in college: Michael Palermo, Class of ’16, who is attending Lewis University and John Milas, Class of ’17, who is attending DePaul University. The three students were invited to share their thoughts on the transitioning experience from high school to college. The recurring recommendations in the panel discussion were: (1) make good decisions, (2) manage your time well, and (3) take all of your classes seriously.

            As well as listening to students reflect on their college experiences, the Chargers heard from speakers in three career clusters.

Guests at career day in the health-care field included Sheila Lilly, RN for the DuPage Medical Group; Sayda Martinez, dental assistant and office manager for Becker Family Dental; and Amanda Spagnolo, MSN, RN and CNL for Edward-Elmhurst Health.

            Visitors representing business were Gina Bozza, account director in marketing for Merkle, Inc.; Danielle Johnson, SJHS Class of ’15, producer for American Family Insurance; and Dwight Stephenson, vice-president of Blue Vista Capital Management, LLC.

            The hospitality discussion was led by Steve Buzil, owner and founder of SITCLOSE, specializing in catering corporate events; Wendy Buzil, cake designer; Cristina (Bufalino) Hendrickson, an event planner for Park Hyatt Hotel Chicago; and Dan Polak, SJHS Class of ’03, owner of The Sweet and Savory Restaurant in Westmont.

            There were several recurring themes in these discussions, including the importance of not getting too frustrated if first attempts at a career do not pan out as planned. Also, students were reminded that they should pursue something they love, something for which they have a passion. Third, students were told they had to be flexible, willing to adapt to change, and possess good communication skills, given that many professions often depend on working with other people.

            Each year the Counseling Center chooses four groups of occupations on which to focus. Over the course of four years, a St. Joseph HS student will have engaged with approximately 50 guests in 16 different career clusters.