Career Exploration Program

Like all departments at Whitfield, our college counseling program uses a spiraling curriculum that introduces and develops the skills central to higher level executive function and decision-making. Skill development includes self-awareness, planning, problem-solving, analysis of like entities, prioritization, organization, time management, and effective communication. Rooted in the Habits of Mind & Heart, each grade level’s phase of the college counseling program helps students understand their strengths, interests, talents, and needs to ensure they identify their best post-graduation fit.

Throughout January, Director of College Counseling Barbara Sams and Associate Director of College Counseling Amanda Henry worked with sophomores and juniors to identify key strengths and interests and connect  those to college majors and career fields. The culmination of that activity is this week’s Career Exploration Program.

Designed and hosted by Mrs. Sams and Ms. Henry, the program features 11 different presentations in the areas of allied health and nursing, arts and architecture, business, finance and entrepreneurship, science and research, engineering, computers, and technology trades, communication and journalism, medical and veterinary doctors, government and politics, law and criminal justice, social work and social justice, and education. Students are participating in sessions during their Advisory.

The sessions will be presented by more than 40 professionals, a combination of Whitfield alumni, college professionals and educators, and professional contacts of our college counselors. During each session, the presenters share their personal experiences—from selecting a college major to navigating their career path—with students who are considering the profession. The sessions will be recorded and available for all Upper School students in Warrior Web.

“The hope is that our students leave these conversations understanding not only what each professional area is all about but also what academic preparation students  need to enter into a specific college major or career, what their college trajectory might look like as well as their transition from college to career,” said Ms. Henry.

Providing exposure to a wide variety of college majors and career fields has always been an integral component of Whitfield’s college counseling program. Typically, students participate in field trips to college campuses where they talk with advisors and students in academic areas they are interested in exploring, such as last year’s trip to Saint Louis University. In response to the challenges presented by the pandemic, Whitfield’s college counseling team created this year’s virtual model.

“While we of course hope to be able to take field trips to college campuses again next year, I can also see us continuing this virtual program,” said Mrs. Sams. “The scope of individuals we have assembled is impressive, and it is really exciting to connect our alumni with our current students. Having students hear about their varied paths—what they thought they were going to do when they left high school and what they are actually doing now—will be really valuable.”

Thank you to all the professionals who participated! A special Warrior shout-out to our alumni presenters!

Alumni Presenters

Allied Health and Nursing
Sarah (Zenisek) Martin ’02, Becca Dennis ’15

Arts & Architecture
Matt Jordan ’11, Rachel Goldman ’09

Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurship
Andrew Servini ’96, Lauren Oreto ’15, Kyrstin Munson ’01

Communication and Journalism
Alex Bluestone ’10, Jorie Jacobi ’07, Abby Kelly ’13, Hannah Westerman ’12

Engineering, Computers, and Technical Trades
Caroline Baer ’12, Adam Lauer ’20, Don Jacobsmeyer ’06

Government and Politics
Connor Bryant ’15, Peter Tchoukaleff ’07

Law and Criminal Justice
Ron Fox ’74, Christian Roberts ’08

Medical and Veterinary Doctors
Sammi Unangst ’12, Jessi Kraemer Farris ’09, Seth Williams ’05

Science and Research
Samantha Friedman ’14

Social Work and Social Justice
Meg (Bradbury) Stowe ’92, Whitney Key Towey ’02