Cortland students get a look at career options at Jump Start 10 Conference

Photo: Provided

On Tuesday, October 16th, a group of 10th grade students attended the Jump Start 10 Conference at SUNY Cortland. The overall goals of the conference were to introduce sophomores to college and career options, get them thinking about their futures, and help them learn about opportunities and programs available in Cortland.

In the morning, students attended college and career workshops during which they heard from college representatives and career professionals about a number of different topics. Each of the presenters offered a great deal of advice as students begin to think about their futures. Some of the most important advice given has been included below.

Advice from College Representatives:

  • High school is your last chance at a free education. Take advantage of all that your high school has to offer.
  • Find your passion and then major in that area.
  • Know that there are options. Explore things.
  • Take advantage of the CollegeNow program and get college credits done in high school. This will save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars.
  • Do some community service — you feel good about yourself, help others, and might even earn some scholarship money

Advice from Career Professionals:

  • Do what you love and what interests you. Happiness and fulfillment are important factors when you have to work for decades to come.
  • Always be a learner, whether at college or in a career.
  • Soft skills are important! Continue to improve on these.
  • Communication skills are extremely important, including verbal, written, and social media/email methods.
  • Network as much as possible. This may bring on unexpected opportunities.

Melissa Norman and Pamela West, business teachers at Cortland High School, organized the field trip for this year’s 10th grade students. Mrs. Norman said, “The Jump Start 10 Conference is a great starting point for sophomores as they begin to think about their futures beyond high school. Many times high school students find the thought of applying to colleges or trade schools, and eventually settling on a career path, to be overwhelming. This experience allows students to gain insight into the college application process, how to experience success as a college or trade school student, and how the path to career success is often not as straightforward as they may think. They come away with a new perspective on what their future may look like, along with the knowledge of what they need to start doing now to achieve their future goals.”

Delia Bair, was one of the 10th graders who attended the conference. Delia said, “I thought the college representatives’ presentation was good. I learned that 10th grade isn’t too early to start looking at colleges.” Fellow student Kadison MacNabb echoed Delia’s advice and said, “Going to the conference made me really start to think about my future and what I want to do in life.”

Mrs. Norman and Mrs. West are looking forward to organizing next year’s field trip to the Jump Start 10 Conference and will continue to encourage all of their students to think about their future, make plans, and achieve their goals.