Students learn more about future employment options at career fair

May 17, 2018

As Julia Olimpio walked past tables of potential careers, the hardware on one table caught her eye: a mask and air tank used by New Bedford firefighters.

The Dartmouth High senior, who is also a diver, tried the equipment on at the school’s career fair, held in the cafeteria during the school day. She learned a lot, including the tech inside the tank that sounds an alarm if a firefighter is injured and unable to move.

“It was really eye-opening because, just like a diver’s mask, it’s very similar with the regulator and stuff,” Olimpio said. “It was kind of surreal but in a good way because you know that there are so many way to keep them say when they do their jobs. It was really interesting.”

New Bedford Fire District Chief James Fortin was staffing the department’s table, which was one of the most popular owing to the gadgets he brought along. A chest compression dummy was also available for students to try out.

Fortin wasn’t the only employer trying to grab students’ attention, as 19 others were in attendance during the three-hour event to talk about their careers. From military service to realty, students got to delve a little deeper into jobs which don’t necessarily need a college degree.

“We want them thinking about what they’re going to do after high school, so when graduation come they’re not sitting wondering ‘What can I do now?”” guidance counselor Jodi Newbury said. “They need to be exposed to things they may not be exposed to later on and it also helps them in high school see ‘Oh if I take this class this could help me with what I want to do in the future.’”

Newbury, who helped plan the event, said student interest from a survey done after the previous career fair determined who would be asked to come to this years.

Next to Fortin’s table was a delicious sample of food made by chef Patrick Callahan, who represented those looking to get into the culinary arts.

Realtor Christopher Arienti reeled students into his career by telling them about all of the advantages to his job, from job security to travel and high earnings.

The most important aspect for some students was the acknowledgement by people currently in their careers who said students don’t need to have it all figured out right now. For senior Olivia Aguiar, that was a relief to hear.

“I think that the career fair is really helpful since a lot of teachers here reinforce that you kind of already need to know what you want to do in college and at least every person at the tables today reassured me that I don’t need to know yet, but getting the different ideas was really helpful for me,” Aguiar said.