Friday, January 25, 2013

Junior Achievement Job Shadowing

About 100 juniors at Westchester Academy for International Studies visited with and followed around engineers, early childhood teachers and technology industry employees earlier this month to learn more about real occupations.

Westchester Academy partnered with Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas on Jan. 8-10 to take students on a complete career path with job shadowing events at nine separate locations during the three-day period.

Employees from nine companies in three separate fields – information technology, service, or engineering and business – taught Westchester Academy juniors about careers in their fields.

Students observed day-to-day operations and learned details about skills required to succeed in a particular industry. In addition to department tours and mentoring sessions, students learned resume writing and building, interview best practices, and networking skills.

Job shadowing visits occurred at Microsoft, Phillips 66, GE Oil & Gas, Group 1 Automotive, Junior Achievement, Lion Lane School for Early Learning, Bridgeway, ExxonMobil and Omron Oilfield Marine.

Westchester Academy leaders picked the job-shadowing activity with juniors as one way to connect with SBISD’s five-year goal to double the number of district graduates who pursue technical, two-year associates, or four-year university and college degrees. This goal is called T-2-4 in SBISD.

“Our goal as a campus and a district is to dramatically increase the number of students completing a technical, two-year or four-year degree,” Westchester’s leadership team told parents.

“For many students, identifying one or more career paths that interest them creates a high level of motivation that can support them as they strive to succeed in their advanced course work. To that end, we have partnered with Junior Achievement to create a special week of activities and experiences,” school leaders Mechiel Rozas, Beverly Martin and Andrea Andrews told parents.

Registrar Andrews said that the connections students made by seeing engineers in action, or observing workday events, was priceless. “It sounds cliché, but students had an authentic opportunity to connect what they are learning every day in school to real work, real people and real careers,” she said.

As a result of the job shadowing program’s success, some students will present at a February Junior Achievement meeting. Campus leaders hope to make this program an annual event.


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