about 8 months ago
On November 16, The Educational Research & Innovation Hub (ihub) teamed up with staff at the DSBN Academy to provide a “reverse career day” for 45 students in Gr.11 & 12 from the DSBN Academy with a pilot project called, “Career Crawl”. Students were welcomed inside the Chambers at St. Catharines City Hall hearing learning about the career opportunities that exist in Niagara, specifically within the St.Catharines Downtown Core. Among the speaker’s at City Hall were Councillor Mike Britton and CAO, Shelly Chemnitz who both spoke to their own educational and career paths. Students then broke into six small groups venturing off to three locations throughout the day, two businesses in a sector of their choice in the morning and a third mystery session in a field unfamiliar to them. Students were greeted by a representative (or a team of representatives) and spent 30 - 45 minutes learning about the company they were visiting, the jobs that exist in that sector and the educational and career pathways that someone typically takes to become employed in that sector. Some students got to “try on” what it was like to work at that location, such as students that participated in a mock trial at Daniel & Partners or students that filled cavities with Dr.Daryl at Smith Family Dentistry while others got a tour of the facilities such as they did at the Performing Arts Centre and the Generator at One. Other locations such as RBC & KPMG engaged in informal Q&A about the industry and the steps needed to break into that field.
This pilot wouldn’t have been possible without support from St.Catharines City Hall and the community-minded businesses/organizations that welcomed Academy students into their Downtown locations. We sincerely appreciate participation from the following organizations:
Niagara Regional Police
Daniel & Partners
RBC Royal Bank
Generator at one
Macdonald Zubererc & Ensseum Architects
Ministry of Transportation
Smith Family Dentistry
Niagara Artists Centre
FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
Kevin Unger Photography
Mahtay Café & Lounge
The response from students? Two thumbs up! Students raved about the experiential learning opportunity, speaking to the valuable information they learned from the stops on their agenda and from other students that had other sector-specific agendas! They were so grateful that professionals took time to speak with them about
High school students are often asked what they’d like to do after they graduate to engage in planning for post-secondary education to help them get on the path to get there however, they may not have an opportunity to get an “inside look” inside that sector, or have a chance to speak to a professional in that field. This pilot set out to give students that opportunity but also to expose them to various traditional and nontraditional career pathways, beyond that students also walked away with contacts, advice and an understanding of the value in networking. Another recurring theme was transferable skills and that no matter what you take in school, the skills you learn during that process will benefit you in your career - even if it’s not the career you initially set out for.
Our “crawling” was picked up by some local media outlets! Check out our Career Crawl feature in Niagara This Week: https://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/7936109-dsbn-academy-students-head-to-downtown-st-catharines-businesses-for-career-crawl/.