One of the most effective ways to learn about what you want to be when you grow up is to attend a career development session. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) has exactly that event.
Do I actually like this, is it something I would like to explore?
Students from Vista Virtual School (VVS) took the time to explore their potential career options at SAITCity—using hands-on experience to make well-informed decisions with real-world examples and activities.
“I wanted more clarity to know which direction I should go in for life in general, or finding a job and for university and what to do,” said Wezi, a grade 10 student with VVS.
That learning and clarity is important.
“I wanted to learn about the careers I was interested in, and learn about others I could have a chance in,” said Rulon, a VVS grade 9 student.
It’s an opportunity for students to map out their potential career path and to see if the options available at SAIT are a good fit for them.
“I liked the experience; it helped me decide what I shouldn’t want to do and what I would like to do,” said Wezi. “Careers such as something in construction or information technology—those are two I am deciding between.”
With hands-on learning, students were able to explore a few different career options, using that knowledge to further pique their interests and possible future direction.
“I am currently taking a course in automotives and leadership,” said Senthuran, a grade 10 student with VVS. “With the automotive service technician and marketing manager sheets SAIT provided me, I was able to look at what was required in order to enter the program, some opportunities to learn more about the career program offered at SAIT, and how long it would take to complete the program. It also gave me the choice to look at other possible careers so I can choose what’s better for me in the future.”
Shorten the pathway to do what you love to do as a career!
Learning the skills is important, so is understanding what you would like to do, and not waiting until the last minute.
“The simulation activities were creative and engaging for students,” said VVS junior high teacher, Sarah Davies. “SAITCity did a really good job of getting students to think about what type of learner they are. For example, if you don’t want to be at a desk all day, what are some other work options [for you to consider]?”
Having this preparation as they enter high school is valuable, as then a student can prepare and take the courses they need to ensure they have the skills that set them apart. For example, SAIT only accepts approximately 29 per cent of applicants, as the institution is focused on finding the right fit for success and getting a job in their field at graduation.
“I enjoyed the walk-around, being able to listen to people teaching there, and getting a view of what some careers include,” said Rulon. “There is not really anything I disliked about SAITCity. It was also nice being a bit more hands-on than the larger classes.”
And adding an actual experience that is similar to working in the field, students can figure out how it fits for them before they are further along in their education, and then develop their knowledge through courses, volunteering, practice and even job shadowing and part-time work in their potential field.
“What I enjoyed, was the opportunity to know what I am really passionate about and finding something I can do for the rest of my life,” said Senthuran. “For example, I was having doubts in being a marketing manager, but when I did an activity on analyzing a product from a company that had a declining profit over the years, I was amazed of how much impact I can do for the company to raise profits. As a result, I feel like marketing manager is also something I can consider for the future.”
Targeted towards grade 9-10 students, students are provided information about all of SAIT’s programs, and after completing a pre-planning exploration about their potential career interests, they narrowed down three activities to focus on in SAITCity, using hands-on exploration specific to the program.
“It was motivational for students to consider what career opportunities are out there as well as, give them an opportunity to try the skill set for the career type,” said Davies. “Providing the head/mouth mannequin for a dental assistant was a unique and realistic way to show a student what it would be like to be so close to a patient’s mouth all day.”
It is about finding what you enjoy doing, and figuring out if this is something you want to challenge you in the future.
“This definitely helps,” said Rulon. “Because it gives me a better view of what I need to do in high school to give me a better chance at getting in.”
Photos from SAITCity Career Exploration event on March 28.