At FDSH, students learn about future careers

Students at Fort Dodge Senior High had the opportunity to hear about more than 100 careers during a career fair held at the school Wednesday morning.

Professionals in career areas from law to athletic training and education to taxidermy spoke to students during five sessions.

“We have around 100 different speakers with us today,” said FDSH teacher Peg Christensen. “Our students have the six different career pathways where they pick specific career areas and we have speakers here in each of those areas.”

Representatives from 25 colleges and the military were also on hand in the gymnasium to provide information. Several local employers also had displays in the cafeteria that offered information on their companies and what it takes to work for them.

“We also want to show the kids what opportunities we have here locally,” said Christensen. “We hope their displays will entice them to look.”

In a session on athletic training, Matt Hansen, associate director of the Fort Dodge Community Recreation Center, offered insight into being a trainer and fitness instructor in a gym setting.

“It’s not an eight to five job,” said Hansen. “Sometimes you have a client that comes in at 5 o’clock in the morning or after six at night.”

Hansen outlined other areas in which trainers can work.

“It doesn’t have to be in fitness,” he said. “You can be a trainer in rehab or a hospital.”

In a session on law enforcement, Fort Dodge Police Officer Joelyn Johnson and Assistant Police Chief Kevin Doty offered their advice to potential future officers.

“It’s important to set goals for yourself,” said Doty. “Have a goal, write it down and put it somewhere you can see. Make that your driving force.”

Doty and Johnson encouraged students to be good citizens and always exhibit good behavior if they were interested in law enforcement careers.

“What you do today can and will affect whether you get to put on a uniform someday,” said Doty.

“Even out of uniform you have to uphold the laws you enforce,” said Johnson. “People know you and they watch you. At the end of the day, you are still a police officer.”

“But being an officer isn’t anything like what you see on TV,” Doty said.

Doty advised students to get two- or four-year college degrees before pursuing a career.

“We encourage you to go to college. When we hire we reward officers for that,” he said.

In the gymnasium, junior Brittany Peterson and sophomore Alayna Jensen stopped to chat about college with a representative of AIB College of Business in Des Moines.

Peterson said she was most inspired by the photography session presented by Howard Haase.

“The photography has been my favorite so far,” said Peterson. “The instructor was so upbeat and energetic, it makes me excited to go into photography. It definitely changed my whole idea on what I want to do for college.”

“There has been a lot of opportunity to see things today,” said Jensen. “I think I’d like to do forensic science; that was really interesting.”