For a third year, the Pine River-Backus Career Day brought professionals to the high school to give valuable advice to students.

Among other topics, speakers at the annual event shattered student expectations that they will never use what they learn outside of the classroom. At a vocational career panel run by Pequot Tool and Manufacturing, Crow Wing Power and Central Lakes College, those representatives advised sophomores that they use everything from fractions to trigonometry in their fields in addition to computer skills.

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Investigator Tony Cyr of the Cass County Sheriff's Department informed students that those interested in law enforcement fields would benefit from psychology classes. Jay Kline of Kline Funeral Home in Pine River and Pequot Lakes advised students to pay attention to their science classes.

Wally and Jason Lodge of Weasel Den Wildlife Control recommended work experience and business classes for students interested in making money from trapping.

"In our job, we get paid for what we know," Wally said.

Students also learned from experts what types of mistakes could cost them a career in the long run. Pequot Tool representatives cannot have felonies on their records, because of their work with gun parts. Crow Wing Power workers are not even considered for work if they don't have a driver's license, so students were advised to keep their driving records clean.

However, not all lessons came in the form of admonitions.

Speakers at an art panel advised students never to get out of practice in their musical and artistic talents. Musician and Pine River-Backus information technology expert Brent Passarella told students if they ever find themselves too stressed to do what they enjoy, they should find a new career.

Sophomores and older students at Pine River-Backus hand-selected four sessions of panels during the morning of Friday, March 20, to learn from experts from more than 15 different fields, including aviation, special education, nursing and business ownership. Pine River-Backus High School has earned recognition from state agencies for Career Day, which has grown since its inception three years ago.