Although commonly thought of as the start of the Spring season, at Palo Alto High School, March also marks the start of Career Month, a month-long period filled with presentations by speakers, job and career fairs and many other student activities.
Career Month will start on March 5, when students will have the opportunity to partake in a women in business forum or join their peers in touring IDEO, a design firm in Palo Alto, according to Paly Career Advisor Christina Owen.
“In the beginning of March we’re [going to] have a Women in Business forum first thing on that Tuesday, which is put together by a student, [senior] Elizabeth Bowman,” Owen said. “The same day we have a tour at IDEO; it’s a product design local firm.”
The following day students will have the chance to participate in a job fair, which will be followed by a career fair on Thursday.
“Wednesday is going to be a job fair run by an off-site group,” Owen said. “Thursday is the career fair, which is career and specialty schools programs. Essentially they are alternative high school programs.”
To finish off the week, Friday, March 8, will feature a community college forum where students may go to inquire about their post high school options.
“Friday is a community college forum, kind of a post high school focus,” Owen said. “This is largely focused toward juniors and seniors, especially those who aim to go to an impacted CSU [California State University] or a UC [University of California].”
Due to the California High School Exit Examination, which will take place in the second week of March, Owen did not schedule students activities but highly encourages students to take this time to fill out their Naviance surveys and think about their interests for post-high school plans.
“Hopefully people will do those Naviance surveys because if you plan on life after high school and you don’t know what you’re interested in, you end up applying to schools for the wrong reasons or to schools that don’t have the thing you’re interested in,” Owen said.
The last two weeks of the month, March 18 through March 29, students will have the opportunity to listen to multiple professionals speak about their career choices. However, unlike last year’s Career Month, students no longer have to sign-up in order listen to the lectures being presented.
“The nice thing is that for the speaker series we’ve gotten to the point that we have enough money to serve 250 kids lunch everyday, so there are no sign-ups,” Owen said. “We have it in the ERC [English Resource Center] and SSRC [Social Studies Resource Center] everyday those last two weeks of March, and so it’s first come first serve.”
However, unlike with the speaker series, some the activities will require students to sign-up ahead of time.
“That first week of activities, the things that are during Tutorial, you will have to sign up for those things,” Owen said. “The final thing that week, the community college forum, that is mostly during third period, so you do need to sign up through the College and Career Center.”
Owen is hopeful that students will take advantage of these opportunities and that these activities can be continued in years to come.
“We’ve always wanted to do those things anyway, and it fits into the theme of Career Month,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to do things like that the first week of March next year.”