Students had the opportunity, under supervision, to operate heavy machinery during BTECH’s annual Career Days on Wednesday and Thursday.
LOGAN — Enthusiastic laughter could be heard among happy faces as seventh-graders across the state of Utah explored the various career programs during Bridgerland Technical College’s Career Days Wednesday and Thursday.
Wendy Carter, executive vice president of BTECH, said the two-day event is an opportunity for seventh graders to get hands-on experiences with a variety of careers.
“We find that when students learn about careers early in their schooling, their career satisfaction and educational plans are so much better planned,” Carter said. “It gives them a chance to try things they may never have thought of.”
Business technology instructor Emily Hudson said the event exposes students to as many career options as possible so students have a wider choice of career paths to explore.
“I think it really helps them decide … what career path they might want to follow or explore while they’re in high school,” Hudson said.
Students participated in a physical firefighting challenge, experienced a 5-mile-per-hour crash with the Utah State Troopers among other career-focused activities.
Associate Vice President of Student Services Renee Milne said exposing each of the students helps them discover that they can appreciate something they didn’t think they would appreciate.
“To expose them to each of the programs is huge because maybe they didn’t know they were good at plasma cutting and welding. Maybe they didn’t know they thought it would be cool to clean people’s teeth,” Milne said. “They’re on display while they’re here and it’s a safe space. They’re with their friends, with their schools.
Fire and Rescue Department Chief Bryan Davies said students may struggle to decide what to do when they grow up, but the event can open the horizon to different career options for students. students.
“I think it’s just hard in life trying to figure out what you want to do,” Davies said. “I think it just gives a good opportunity to try and see a lot of different things.”
IT and cybersecurity department head Trent Stokes said he enjoys showing students different aspects of what the program offers.
“Show [the students] a lot of different things they can do without even knowing what’s going on,” Stokes said. “We have network card attacks that we show, they have no idea who’s tracking them on their phone or their computer or whatever.”
Carter said she really enjoys watching the students engage, learn, and enjoy the different activities each program offers.
“My favorite part is probably the enthusiasm of the students and their ulterior motives,” Carter said. “The excitement of a seventh grader is invigorating to me.”
Davies said students should start working for their careers with a focus on grades.
“Keep your options open by getting good grades and avoiding getting in trouble with the police,” Davies said.
BTECH President Chad Campbell said students should look into whatever interests them and try to get down that career path.
“Find out what you want to do when you grow up as early as possible and get down that career path as quickly as possible,” Campbell said.
Carter also stressed the importance of finding something that every student is passionate about.
“Find your passion because you’ve been working for a really long time,” Carter said. “Make sure you enjoy doing what you do.”
Charlie Stavely, BTECH’s Student Success Advisor, wants students to understand that they may choose the wrong career path at first, but with many options, they can try something else.
“There are a lot more opportunities than you think and you can start a lot earlier and get a feel for it,” Stavely said. “It’s okay to choose the wrong one the first time, but there are so many options that you don’t have to stress too much.”