A group of high school students from Southfield Public Schools (SPS) had the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in a professional industry during the Job Shadowing Event, an initiative of the Business Advisory Committee of the SPS Partnership for Education Council. The event took place at the Southfield Town Center on March 14.
City of Southfield Business Development Manager Rochelle Freeman said it’s important to expose students to the business environment. “Having an opportunity to see what it’s like working in a real office, learning that you need to dress appropriately for your position and getting exposure to what’s happening in today’s society, is the best experience.”
“We are delighted that our students had the chance to participate in such a meaningful event,” said SPS Superintendent Dr. Wanda Cook-Robinson. “The opportunity to shadow and learn from professionals in the industry is priceless, and an experience that our students will never forget.”
Over 15 companies located in the Town Center dedicated their time to mentoring the students. Microsoft, Unum, CBRE, Warren Strategies and Japan Business Society were among the participants. Students were respectively paired with the businesses that fit their career interests.
Brooks Kushman Marketing Director Ryan Pasquali said the event was a great experience for the students. “I would like for these students to recognize that hard work and determination can pay off and continue success,” he noted.
Pasquali mentored Southfield Lathrup High School freshman Demerrin Freeman. He aspires to attend either Northern
Michigan University or Michigan State University for business or public relations in the future. “I think it’s been very educational and fun to learn about his job,” said Freeman. “He does a lot that I would like to do in the future.”
Westin-Southfield Director of Outlets Doug Davis mentored students hoping to pursue a career in the hospitality industry. Southfield High School Senior Aleigha Carter noted that this experience will help her throughout her upcoming journey at Michigan State University. “I learned that it takes a lot to be in this industry,” she said. “There are things in this industry that I’ve never thought about but they matter so much.
CoStar Group Senior Sales Director Michael Weinstein told his students, Southfield Lathrup’s Bianca Dennis and Southfield High’s Christian Overton, that they might go into a career that they’ve never heard of. “In 10 years, you may end up in an industry that hasn’t even been invented yet,” he said. “Keep your options open. Finding your calling comes with time.”
Both Dennis and Overton took this to heart. “I never thought about anything other than going into the medical field, so this has been interesting to see other options,” said Dennis. Overton added, “Even though real estate isn’t the way I plan on going, it’s opened up my eyes and given me a variety. I will take everything that I learned today into the future.”
If there’s one thing that every business agreed on, it’s that education is the most important thing for the students.
“Education plays a vital role in the growth of your success,” said Pasquali.
Davis added that continuous education will take the students further in any industry. “The more schooling you can get, the more you will benefit. Education is definitely important.”
Weinstein said that a college degree is everything these days. “If you don’t have a college degree, you don’t have anything. Resumes do not get looked at if you don’t have that degree.”