Local Businesses Enlighten Students on the Fundamentals of the Work Force at Central’s Annual Career Event

LOCAL BUSINESSES PREPARE STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL EVENT -- Business representatives gather for a quick debriefing before presenting their occupation to sophomores and juniors.

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LOCAL BUSINESSES PREPARE STUDENTS FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL EVENT -- Business representatives gather for a quick debriefing before presenting their occupation to sophomores and juniors.

Cassandra Castillo and DayOnna Carson

Central’s annual Career Event took place on October 30 this year; this is an event planned by Central’s RTI teacher, James Snyder, where he coordinates with several students every year to lead and organize presentations given by business representatives. People who have made great success in their careers come to present their occupation to students who are uncertain of what career path they want to take after high school. This year, sophomores and juniors were able to listen to many presenters willing to share their hardships and visions of success.

Organizations ranging from the Chattanooga Fire Department, Chattanooga Zoo, and Soundcorps have made their annual trip to give students an insight of what their future career may entail.

“I think that if a student is interested in a career in the music industry, I would like for them to take away ideas [from my presentation] that would help them take the next step in their career. If it’s someone with other career ideas, the concept of being involved in the community is something I want to help them with,” alluded Stratton Tingle, Soundcorps representative. 

Local businesses that hire young adults, such as Food City, that were in attendance exemplified what it takes to become a good employee.

“[These are] the skills you will need your whole life; you can’t be perfect, but this job definitely helps with future careers,” explained Matthew Lawrence, Food City presenter.

“I think that there isn’t a skill in this occupation that you don’t need. Everything carries through life; things like time management and communication are useful to learn now,” elaborated representative Joey Westbrook.

“I would like to see them eager to go to work; to be excited about the opportunities and possibilities and what they can learn with us,” explained Food City’s representative, Faye Wood.

Arts and community service are also successful careers that may be underappreciated. People such as Kreneshia Whiteside, who works for AVA, provide for local artists and give artistic avenues to the community. She has allowed people to express themselves in many ways that traditional jobs may not permit.

“I want students to have knowledge of what careers are available in the arts,” Whiteside revealed, “Test the waters. You have plenty of time.” 

As students’ final year of grade school approaches, they are faced with the daunting task of finding a lifelong career that they would enjoy pursuing in college. However, with the wide array of occupations to choose from and the fear of possibly having to change one’s college major, some students are unsure of how to approach the situation.

”My advice to them would be to start school. For your first two years of college, students typically take basic classes, so you should use this time to think of your likes, dislikes, and things that you enjoy doing,” expounded Avious Price, representative of the Tennessee state department of children services, “You might not like it every day, but your job has to be something that you enjoy doing.”

James Brantley advised students to research various careers and participate in summer programs or internships to build up their self confidence. He mentioned that the Chattanooga Zoo, the organization that he works for, had an eight week program that gave students the opportunity to be exposed to many subjects that may interest them. Tabitha Armour also suggested asking professionals students my already know, such as their doctor, for more information and job shadowing opportunities.

Max Sides believed that the people he served for the Chattanooga Fire Department were the most important aspect of his occupation. He also thought that passion and ability to operate as a cohesive whole with other coworkers was an essential part of joining the work force. Students must learn to work together with others and find a balance between the two in order for their cause not to fall apart.

“There is no set course [in life]; you have to make it yourself. Whatever career you want to do, you’ll end up figuring out how hard you’ll have to work for it. Just keep your priorities straight and be the best that you can be in your field,” Sides alluded.

“I found my passion as a hobby. I advise students to be inquisitive and try new things. Find something you want to do and keep doing it, pursue it,” Tingle concluded.