The nonprofit group that provided high school students with a unique opportunity to meet professionals, didn’t get stopped by COVID-19. The organization coordinated with the Hicksville school district to provide the Career Day Inc. experience virtually! The program was originally scheduled to happen live at the beginning of April and the program planned to have over 70 professionals come to the school to meet with the students in a classroom setting.
However, Beth Bucheister, Executive Director of Career Day Inc., came up with an idea along with Ray Williams, Principal at Hicksville High School, to provide the presentations via video. Through the magic of computers, students were able to view the presentation and ask questions.
Luckily, students had already provided their speaker preferences, so they used that data to pursue the more popular professions to gather the initial virtual group of presenters. After deciding on the eight professions to highlight, they invited the students who selected these speakers as their first choice. The school then followed up with social media posts, robocalls, and emails to the entire student population announcing the Virtual Career Day Inc. program. Students who signed up had the opportunity to watch every session, which had professionals from all areas including arts, engineering, fashion, and finance.
Career Day Inc. had sent surveys to the speakers, staff, and students after each call. They had 48 students attending and 15 of them attended multiple sessions. The preliminary results indicate that 94% of the students reported that the presenters were well informed and informative, and 91% said they learned interesting information. Over 73% felt they learned information that will impact their future.
The program wound up offering a strong, diverse program for the students. The professionals, some whose job was impacted greatly by COVID-19, spoke about dealing with change and being adaptive. Real-life lessons were heard, and the future discussed to continue to inspire students in learning about career choices.