‘Speed dating’ for a career at St. Joseph High School

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By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — Rahsaan Corbin said he didn’t know what to expect Monday when he attended the first Career Speed Dating Night at St. Joseph High School.

Held in the competition gymnasium, Corbin said he heard about the event that day over the morning announcements.

“I told my dad that I wanted to see what kind of careers there were,” said the St. Joseph freshman. “One table sent me to another table to help me expand my idea of doing business.”

Students got the chance to sample different careers before narrowing down what would interest them. Dozens of students from Bridgman, Lake Michigan Catholic, Lakeshore and St. Joseph high schools visited more than 30 tables that included experts in law, physical therapy and health care.

The event was put together by students and advisers of the Interact Club of St. Joseph.

Jackie Huie, co-adviser for the Interact Club, used her connections in getting several business and organizational representatives to the high school gym Monday.

“Our goal is that students will sample different career options by moving around the room, sitting down with as many as possible, while asking questions and learning about these careers,” Huie said.

Cheyenne Galbraith is an executive chef at The Boulevard Inn & Bistro who volunteered to speak to students.

She said she loves to take care of people and tried to convey that point to those who approached her.

“Hospitality is in my blood. I want more people to do it or at least give it a chance,” Galbraith said. “I wanted a career that was creative, but the fine arts were very intimidating to me. When I found food, I was happy. That was way before people took pictures of every single thing they ate.”

Joining the festivities through Skype was Michael Smiy, who spoke with young and aspiring film directors.

Smiy is a SJHS alum who makes a living directing commercials. His booth was busy throughout the night as he chatted from a computer in his home in Hollywood.

“Any kind of new TV show or repeating TV show that is going into a second season will come to us and ask us to create some kind of teaser video,” he said. “We’ll look at the characters, at the synopsis of the season, and we’ll write these pieces and pitch them to a client. We’ll shoot it with the show’s cast once one is picked.”

The event attracted a lot of junior and senior high schoolers who are now applying to college.

St. Joseph junior Emily Perrin was one of the event’s organizers and is a member of the Interact Club.

Perrin said she is interested in engineering, but knows her classmates might need encouragement on choosing a profession.

“I feel like a lot of high school students don’t know what they want to do once they graduate,” she said. “This was designed to give people a feel for it. We thought it would be a little more informal, so they could talk to more than one person to get a more diverse experience.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at twittkowski@TheHP.com or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter: @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 22, 2016)

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