Butler Catholic students learn about possible careers

Monday, November 18, 2019 - Updated: 2:49 pm

By Christine Swift Correspondent

A recent Strengths and Career Day at Grove City College was a special opportunity to help Butler Catholic School seventh- and eighth-graders to recognize and take time to reflect on their God-given abilities. Leading the program were Mandy Sposato, director of career services, and Dr. Jennifer Mobley, assistant dean for service learning at Grove City.

In preparation for the day, Butler Catholic students completed the CliftonStrengths Assessment in advance. The online assessment measures one’s natural patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, and categorizes them into the 34 CliftonStrengths themes.

Once on the college campus, the students met with Mobley to gain deeper insight into their strengths assessment report, which revealed their top five CliftonStrengths. She asked the students to view their top five talents as a unique fingerprint.

“When you take your top five theme results in order, it represents how you are uniquely talented, just like your fingerprint is unique to you,” Mobley said. “The chance another person has the same group of strengths in your top five order is roughly one in 300,000. Your unique set of strengths sets you apart from everyone else.”

She then encouraged them to strengthen what they naturally do best and do more of it.

“Take your talents and move them toward strengths by using them in your daily life at school, at church and in your community,” Mobley said.

To help the students gain insight into the patterns and themes revealed in their report, Sposato gave students three action steps to complete. She asked them to take time for reflection, and suggested that they engage in many different experiences. Finally, Sposato encouraged the students to develop their interests.

“Try to get involved in as many activities and experiences as possible because those experiences will lead to developing your interests,” she said. “It is those interests that may lead to discovering what you are truly passionate about, and that is why you are here today. We want to help you get on a path that will ultimately lead you to your God-given calling and passion.”

Sposato shared how to conduct an informational interview, and provided additional online self-assessment, college major and career exploration tools.

“We want you to someday find a career that bridges your interests, strengths and passions. We want you to find a job where you can thrive. It is the point of connection where your talents and passion meet where you will most impact the world,” Sposato said.

Once the strengths and career seminar was completed, the Butler Catholic students received a Grove City T-shirt at the college bookstore and toured the campus. While on the tour, they asked lots of questions about college life.

“What is a typical college schedule, and how many hours a day are college students in class?” were a few of the questions posed by seventh-grader William Boosel. He said the day made a positive impact on him.

“Visiting Grove City College and attending the strengths seminar really made me think about how important education and career choices are,” Boosel said.

Eighth-grader Maddie Gilkey had similar comments about the visit.

“I really enjoyed my visit to Grove City College, and learning about my strengths. I feel like I am able to make better decisions about future career opportunities now, and really liked to see what college life is like,” she said.

Carol Dorcy, eighth-grade teacher, was grateful for the opportunity her students got to participate in Strengths and Career Day.

“It was exciting to see our middle-school students have access to the same assessment and career tools typically available to only college-age students. Those tools will be helpful as eighth-graders complete their eighth-grade graduate studies project,” she said.

To graduate, all Butler Catholic students are required to research a specific career that interests them, and conduct their own informational interviews during a job shadowing day. Eighth-graders then present their research, and share their job shadowing highlights with their peers and parents.

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