November 20, 2009

Fair gives highschoolers a look at potential careers

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LifeFlight’s Michele Brazil, R.N., talks with students from Metro Nashville Public Schools at the recent Career Exploration Fair. (photo by Carole Bartoo)

Fair gives highschoolers a look at potential careers

Vanderbilt was well represented at a recent career fair designed to get Nashville ninth graders excited about potential careers, and to encourage them to stay in school and do well.

The event was the Metro Nashville Public Schools Career Exploration Fair, a partnership of the Chamber of Commerce, Alignment Nashville, the Mayor's Office, Nashville Convention Center and the Nashville business community.

The fair is part of a larger effort to allow students to learn about a career area of interest and engender a clear understanding of the relevance of schoolwork to the adult work world.

All day, busloads of Metro Public Schools ninth graders arrived and departed from the Nashville Convention Center. Students were required to select three career representatives in areas they were interested in, and two in areas they knew little about. They conducted interviews with business volunteers.

Volunteers from Vanderbilt University Hospital, the Orthopaedics Institute, Lifeflight, Medical Center Creative Services, Nursing Services, Creative Services and the Division of Laboratory Medicine manned different tables for the event. Representatives from Vanderbilt University and Peabody Campus were there as well.

Bill Rochford, director of Client and Community Relations at VUMC, co-chairs the MNPS Health Partnership Council, one of the organizing groups for the event. He said Vanderbilt was an important presence at the fair.

“I am proud of all of the departments that presented a small sample of the careers in the health care industry. I believe many of the students will seek careers in the health professions. We received great feedback from the schools, the Chamber of Commerce, the Mayor's office and the Board of Education. They want the ninth grade Career Exploration Fair to continue every year from now on,” Rochford said.

Nearly 3,000 students got to speak with more than 400 professionals representing 170 Nashville businesses and organizations.