by BEBE HODGES '18
So, what do you want to be when you grow up? You have probably been asked this question, like, a zillion times. Yet, every day you inch closer to graduation and this question becomes more of a reality. Soon, you are forced to decide a college major for your profession and spend the following four years studying it.
The decision is so momentous that it appears both overwhelming and terrifying at times. Fortunately, the SUA counselors understand how stressful choosing a supposedly life-long occupation can be.
To help students grasp a better understanding of possible career choices, either to aid in choosing one or simply in gaining more information, the counselors have set up different round tables over the course of the school year. These programs enable students to visit female professionals in a variety of fields for one morning in Keller. Past examples include business, medical, and engineering round tables. On March 10, this opportunity will focus on a wide range of occupations in the humanities, extending from fashion designer to lawyer to teacher. Other areas of interests SUA bulldogs can discover on this day include journalism, communications, art, social work, history, foreign language, political science, and psychology.
Saint Ursula Academy junior-senior counselor Ms. Cathy Sherrick notes, “the round tables were created to provide students the opportunity to learn more about possible careers that they may be interested in pursuing.” The counselors implemented them because “Saint Ursula Academy has always guided students to learn more about what careers are available and to help find ways for girls to know what is available.” Unlike the career fairs in the past, “the round tables give the students more discussion and the ability to talk with women professionals.” Fellow counselor, Ms. Mandy Fontaine, added that the round tables were established to “build a network of professionals for the students to learn and connect with as they explore different career interests. The women [professionals…] share their expertise, [but also] mentor our students, as needed.”
Several students attended these round tables from the previous year. Lauren Ruesink ’18 and Morgan McGee ’18 were just two of those present at the medical round table. Lauren, who is interested in being a veterinarian or medical researcher, visited the family doctor, nurse, and optometrist stations. She found the event “very helpful because it gave [her] an idea of what [she] wanted to pursue in the future.” She also adds that she “was pleasantly surprised to learn” that as a doctor she would be able to fulfill her dream to travel the world.
Morgan, on the other hand, visited the pediatrics and surgery discussions. Because she wants to be a pediatric gastroenterologist doctor or surgeon, Morgan found the event helpful “to talk about how the courses you take in college work and how medical school works.”
Juniors Julie Ahrnsen and Anya DiFalco both attended the engineering round table. Julie was enthused by the environmental engineering exhibit because through this profession “one is able to give presentations and inspire people” rather than “just sitting in a cubicle.” She added how cool she found the career. “It allows you to see firsthand the current issues of the ecosystem and to advocate for a change right now!”
Anya, who attended both medical and engineering sessions, found that the opportunity helped her better understood her interests. “I attended the round tables because I was trying to decide between a career in engineering or nursing,” she explains “the medical round table helped me to realize that I am more passionate about nursing than engineering.” She also adds her praise for the program, declaring, “I was surprised by how passionate the professionals were about their topics […and] how many different people from different fields within the same profession SUA was able to bring in.”
Whether you are trying to decide what your lifelong dream is or you just want some information on what the future could hold, the round tables are a fitting experience for doing just that. But if you are unable to make the March 10 trip to Keller, tune in for the April 10 medical round table. Ms. Sherrick eagerly advises: “please look for an email to come out if interested!”