Career Path Mentors Program
Motivating students onto positive career paths
Classroom Step-by-Step Guide
Thank you for supporting our students by sharing with them the benefits of your experience in the work world. This Guide provides a step-by-step method for presenting your career path information to the students. Please use this Guide. It will provide a consistency for students and address key issues in a short time. Please read completely, including special notes at the end.
The purpose of the Segue Program is to answer for students many of the unknowns about the career options and education/vocation training options that could be available for them after they graduate from high school. When students have an idea for their future, it gives them something to work toward -- and reason to put in the effort. For many students "the future" is just an abstract idea. Your presentation will add to their understanding that their own future is coming and what they do about it in preparation now, or don't do, can affect them throughout their lives.
The objectives of your presentations to students are to increase their understanding about the real work world and what success can look like if they have a good education or vocational training. Once students understand that there are many genuine and honorable career opportunities available to them, it can give them good reasons to choose to spend less time in leisure or entertainment activities and invest more time for their own future benefit (such as in studying to increase their grades, community service, and exploring career or vocation options).
Often, the most challenging part of a presentation is keeping the students\92 attention. By allowing this Presentation Guide to lead you in preparing and giving your presentation, it will help keep their attention, support it being a positive experience for you, and provide consistency for students as they become accustomed to this format from one presentation to the next.
All presentations are to be a maximum of 15 minutes, about the equivalent of reading aloud two typed pages. The short length also helps keep student attention. Attention will also increase if you tell real life stories about your career path. In choosing the words for your talk, keep in mind that you are speaking with youth that most often have little understanding of the world of commerce. After your presentation, there will be an additional 5 minutes for student questions.
Please take the time to time the length of your presentation at least once so you can see if you need to add to or reduce your presentation so that it is not more than 15-minutes. The last thing you want to happen is to find that you are out of time when there are still important messages that you wanted to share with the students.
To Begin Your Presentation
FIRST: Give the teacher a written 30-second introduction about yourself to read aloud to the students.
As a way to begin with students' attention, begin your presentation by asking students a single simple question, where their answer is a show of hands. Create your own, or choose from one of these:
How many of you think what you do in high school has much of an affect on your future career options?
How many of you have a good idea of what you want to do in the future?
How many of you think it would be a good idea to go on to college or a trade school?
How many of you do some type of community service?
How many of you have a part time job?
After you receive the show of hands and say something like "ok, thank you," next, ask them something like: "As I describe to you my career path, please think of one question that you'd like to ask me at the end of my talk."
As you consider what to say to the students, keep in mind that you will be giving them a head start in understanding the realities about job/career paths (yours) that will be available for them if they do their work while in school. Like the common statement, \93If only I knew then what I know now,\94 please share with the students what you\92ve learned that might save them from making some of the same mistakes that we all have made along the way. Try and build into your talk the idea, in the example of your own path, that more effort now equals more options in the future. Please include the following subjects within your 15-minute classroom presentations:
What you like about your current job, why you might recommend it (or not recommend it)?
What was your path to this job, including education or training that was needed?
If you used financial aid, how easy was it to receive? Why you are glad you invested in yourself.
A low-to-high range of how much a person generally earns from a job like yours?
Identify specific skills you learned in school that are useful now and apply to your job/career.
What is the earning potential of jobs that are available without education or vocational training?
What you might have done differently, what primary lessons did you learn along the way?
Conclude Your presentation
Say something positive, briefly, about how you organize your life between your work/career and leisure time, then, in your own words, tie this in with the idea that they are now at the age where the choices are theirs to make, and how these choices will affect their future life. It's up to them. Encourage them to invest in themselves, especially in how they choose to spend their time daily (for example, replacing some leisure time with study, community service, or career exploration).
Then, finally, remind them that the Segue website link, "Student next steps" can help them explore and learn more about career options, find out what they'd be good at, learn about training programs and colleges, and nine other key categories. Remind them to visit the Career Center on their campus for more information about careers. Remind them that if they take initiative and action now it will bring them more options and give them a head start for their future. Thank you.
Optional, but very useful
To help us build an archive about different real world career paths, please send us a copy of your written career presentation as an email attachment (15@SegueProgram.org) and we will post it online for other students to learn about. Imagine the value to students being able to read about real work world stories versus dry descriptions of careers they now find in most reference books.
Arrival at School
Out of respect for the teachers and students, your on-time arrival will be much appreciated. This will help teachers make the most of the rest of the class period either before or after you present. Please see the confirmation email that was sent to you after you scheduled your presentation time as it provides the exact time for your presentation to begin and end. Please plan to arrive at the school about 10-20 minutes before your first presentation is scheduled so that you can sign-in at the switchboard in the school office and still have plenty of time to get to the class for your first presentation. You\92ll usually have 5-10 minutes to get to your second and third presentations. The total time at the school will be about an hour and a half.
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Thank you for this gift of your experiences that you share with the students!