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Pequot Lakes eighth-graders learn firsthand about careers

Angela Sherack, of RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty, and Nancy Vogt, editor of the Echo Journal, answer Pequot Lakes eighth-graders' questions as part of a career panel Friday, Dec. 15. Submitted Photo

Pequot Lakes eighth-graders had the chance to learn about a variety of careers firsthand when area volunteers from different professions participated in a career panel with the students at Pequot Lakes School.

This was the first time a career event was held for eighth-graders.

The goal of the Friday, Dec. 15, event was to help prepare youth for life after high school, said Amy Sjoblad, career adviser with Rural MN CEP Inc., who works with both Pequot Lakes and Pillager schools.

"Our jobs as teachers and as career adviser for Pequot Lakes High School is to prepare our youth for life after high school. We do this by exposing our students to a variety of careers," Sjoblad said. "Our school does an exceptional job of providing a wide array of opportunities, such as speakers; field trips; a variety of course offerings, including Bridges Academies, which are pathways focused on specific industries; ProStart; internships; job shadows; career advising; assessments; and infiltrating soft skills instruction within all of these opportunities."

The career panel taught eighth-graders about a variety of careers and the importance of soft skills and networking. Students learned how meeting that one person can lead to an amazing career, success and happiness in life.

Career panelists shared how students should match their interests and strengths to their career choice, and they told details about a variety of careers, some of which require no education, one to two years of post-secondary education, and four years or more of post-secondary work.

The students heard how history truly is used after high school, helpful courses to take in high school to ensure they are prepared for their career choice, the reasons why the career panelists like their jobs and what students should look for in a career. Panelists talked about variety in their jobs, flexible schedules and being able to help others.

Career panelists included: Angela Sherack, Realtor with RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty; Nancy Adams, Pequot Lakes mayor and library coordinator; Kate Petersen, Pequot Lakes police officer; Carrie Taylor, physical therapist with Pequot Lakes Physical Therapy Services, Inc.; Cindy Hidde, Stonemark Land Surveying, Inc.; Chandra Jorgens, nurse with Good Samaritan Society; Mike Monahan, pilot for Air Transport International; Severin Neumann, roofing specialist and owner of Neumann Construction, Inc.; Melanie Dotty, attorney; Ali Ross, guidance counselor; and Nancy Vogt, Echo Journal editor.

"We are so fortunate to have a community that cares about our students and generously donates their time to help us prepare our students for their lives after high school and their future," Sjoblad said.