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Career fair showcases many post-graduation paths

Good advice: deliver résumé in person

Thornapple Kellogg — At Thornapple Kellogg High School’s annual career fair, senior Giovana Daher discussed her interest in the connection between the mind and the body with a representative from the Barry County Community Mental Health Authority.

“I’m interested in psychology and want to know more about the brain,” she said. “I want to help people, because people need help and someone to listen.” 

After graduation, Giovana said her main goal is to work with animals, having ridden horses since she was 5. 

“Horses can help people too,” she said. “It’s amazing how horses can sense what people are feeling.”

Giovana and her peers had the opportunity to visit 50 tables from a variety of local organizations, businesses, branches of the military, trade programs, colleges and universities. 

Senior Braden Sharrer stopped by the HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative table to talk with electric lineworkers and try on some of the gear they wear on the job. 

“I learned about the equipment they use and what steps you can take after high school to get a job in their field,” Braden said. 

HomeWorks customer service representative Becky Beard said several students asked how to get started in a lineworker program. Pamphlets on their table listed several programs across Michigan that offer classes and field experience. 

“I wish I knew about the trades when I was in high school, and that there were other options besides college,” Beard said. “Students can go to school and still do work for us.” 

Brendon Hudson, a talent acquisition specialist for GreenMark Equipment, said the best question a student asked him was how to approach a company about getting an internship.

“I told them to make a résumé and deliver it face-to-face,” he said. “It’s better to make an impression in person.”

GreenMark was one of many companies at the career fair that offers tuition assistance and guarantees jobs after graduation. Several also allow post-grad students to complete classes or training while holding an internship or full-time job. 

Senior Justin Goggins said he was pursuing construction, after spending a few years working for the same company as his dad, Hildabrand Custom Homes.  

“My favorite part of the job is being able to see the whole process, starting from nothing and getting a finished project,” Justin said.

Senior Zoie Ludwiczak also plans to pursue a passion rooted in her families’ career paths and attend Lake Michigan College’s ultrasound technician program in the fall.

Thanks to the career fair, senior Eva Corson said she was able to make a plan for after graduation, without feeling like it was the only plan.

For now, she plans to attend Kalamazoo College’s dental hygiene program and minor in business.

“I’ve realized how flexible life can be, and you don’t need a (single, unchangeable) plan,” she said. “This fair helps you make one, but you can figure out one thing and not have to do it for the rest of your life.” 

Read more from Thornapple Kellogg: 
A judge, a meteorologist and a firefighter walk into a school
Teaching confidence

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Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark
Alexis Stark is a reporter covering Byron Center, Caledonia, Godfrey-Lee, Kenowa Hills and Thornapple Kellogg. She grew up in metro Detroit and her journalism journey brought her west to Grand Rapids via Michigan State University where she covered features and campus news for The State News. She also co-authored three 100-question guides to increase understanding and awareness of various human identities, through the MSU School of Journalism. Following graduation, she worked as a beat reporter for The Ann Arbor News, covering stories on education, community, prison arts and poetry, before finding her calling in education reporting and landing at SNN. Alexis is also the author of a poetry chapbook, “Learning to Sleep in the Middle of the Bed.”


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