What did one computer say to the other? A: Google, Google, Google!
What did one computer say to the other? A: Google, Google, Google!

November 30, 2021

Career Navigator News is a monthly newsletter from your Career Navigator, MaryAnne Smith.

New to FutureForward™ Oct. 1-Nov. 30

Jessica Anderson, Partners in Excellence
Juan Ramirez, Fastenal

240 Youth Explore Careers Through Job Shadows and Informational Interviews

Career-connected learning is crucial for young people to see what career options exist, generate interest in career fields, and bring real-world meaning to the classroom. Across the Bluff Country Collaborative, approximately 240 students were assigned to connect with a professional to learn about what they do and what it looks like on the job, for real.
  • Careers class at La Crescent-Hokah
  • 9-12 students at Spring Grove
  • Senior seminar class at Rushford-Peterson
A big thank you goes out to those who hosted students, professionals who made themselves available through FutureForward™, and the teachers who encourage students to go explore their options for the future.

Behind the Scenes

Fastenal and SEMA presented to Spring Grove students in October. Each company brought a team of professionals to showcase the different departments and share how departments work together for the good of the company. HR, media/marketing, accounting, floor managers/trainers, and crew members all play a key part in the company. Individuals studied something different after high school.

"Behind the Scenes" gave students a chance to visualize where in a company they might want to work. Accounting, marketing, customer relationship management, etc. are essential components of most companies, regardless of the industry.

Ambassador Program

The Ambassador Program is a mentorship program for juniors and seniors across the Bluff Country Collaborative. Students are matched up with a professional in their career field of interest. Mentors and mentees will meet monthly on career-related topics including:
  • Career opportunities within the career field
  • In-demand skills
  • Education and training opportunities
  • Growth and next steps!
To nominate a student, contact Brian Cashman by December 7.
For more information on how to participate in the future, contact Brian Cashman or MaryAnne Smith.

Mock Interviews - Networking for Both Student and Professional

Frequently, I get asked, "How do I meet students who want to know more about a career in my company?" or "How do I connect my students to careers related to their interests?" It is no secret that bringing together students and area employers for career exploration strengthens the workforce pipeline.

Mock interviews are one of many ways for students and professionals to meet. This semester, nearly 100 students will be participating in mock interviews. Students practice marketing their skills and knowledge to a new person. Professionals have the opportunity to meet the up-and-coming talent.

  • December 13-17: Rushford-Peterson
  • December 15-17: Caledonia
  • January 10-14: La Crescent-Hokah
To volunteer for mock interviews, select "Mock Interview and Panel" from lesson topics on FutureForward or contact MaryAnne Smith.

Find out other career-connected learning opportunities through FutureForward™. Explore the network of local educators and professionals. Market yourclassroom or business with descriptive language in your "professional interests" and position yourself to appear in keyword searches. Guest speakers, mock interviews, job shadows, site tours, work experience, and more are all available through the online portal. The possibilities are endless.

Strategic Doing

Collaboration takes time, patience, effort, and sharing of resources. In November, I attended a Strategic Doing training designed for collaboration amongst diverse groups or individuals seeking to make a positive impact. Strategic Doing is a model that guides the conversation between stakeholders from planning to action. I am very excited to have this model available as another resource with Bluff Country Collaborative.

Resource for Teaching Diversity

The African-American Registry Teacher’s Forum assists E-12 school staff in developing a consistent pedagogy that teaches by reaching students with factual diverse content in all subjects every day. Provided by a grant program through Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System Office, this resource is a substantial value - in both content and dollars. Visit aaregistry.org to learn more. Subscription to the Teacher’s Forum of the Registry is free of charge for CTE teachers who attended the 90-minute training on November 9 via Zoom. Reach out to learn more.
Contact MaryAnne Smith
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December 9
Perkins Leadership Team Meeting
December 14
Ambassador Program Meeting - Mentors & Mentees
December 15
BCC Leadership Meeting
January 4, 11, 19, and 25
This four-part series will provide an overview of the requirements for an approved work-based learning program. If you are new to work-based learning, this is a great place to start.  
Late Winter/Early Spring TBD
Houston County Career Fair
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