Approximately 1,000 high school students at Fort Wayne Community Schools engaged with Parkview professionals and explored a wide variety of exciting career opportunities …without leaving their classrooms! Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana (JANI) was thrilled to announce that it will host its first-ever virtual Health Career Exploration Day—an event designed to show students how different careers are interconnected within an industry.
The virtual Health Career Exploration Day, took place on Friday, November 19th, is the experiential lesson in the newly created JA Industry Your Way work and career readiness program.
Through an immersive, digital simulation, participating students felt like they were traveling to an actual career expo. They “entered” a large, virtual building with eight distinct spaces, each representing one of the critical sectors of our regional economy: 1. Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, & Logistics; 2. Agriculture, Food, & Natural Resources; 3. Architecture, Engineering, & Construction; 4. Business, Finance, & Marketing; 5. Government, Law, & Public Service; 6. Health & Life Science; 7. Hospitality, Tourism, & Arts; and 8. Information Technology. Each of the interactive, virtual spaces were uniquely designed to match the industry sector it represented. For example, students who wanted to learn about “Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering, & Logistics” entered a virtual factory, complete with workers and an assembly line.
As students explored the industry sector or sectors that interested them most, they also discovered numerous “hot spots,” which, when clicked on, linked them to information about local educational, training, and career opportunities. Students were given the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of relevant careers—from those that may only require on-the-job training to those that require a college degree and beyond. The hot spots also linked students to videos, downloadable career resources, and important work and career readiness information.
What sets this Health Career Exploration Day apart is that students were able to participate in live demonstrations, panels, and “Q&A” sessions led by Parkview Health employees that placed emphasis on the interconnectedness of all careers in an industry—for example, Parkview Health relies on facility managers, innovators, IT specialists, marketing professionals, event planners, as well as doctors, nurses, physician assistants and more to make sure their operation runs smoothly. Local industry volunteers talked about their experiences and answered questions, helping students to develop a better understanding of what they need to do now, and after high school, to pursue the career of their dreams.
The goal of the virtual Health Career Exploration Day was to help “plant a seed” in the mind each of these young people, introducing them to new ways of achieving their career goals, even if it is in a different industry than they first expected.