On Nov. 14, the Gwinnett Center became a hive of activity. Over the course of three hours, more than 3,600 middle school students buzzed through the aisles— some walking in groups, others clustered around booths and businesses that captivated their interest, and all grasping their clipboards filled with pages of interview questions. These GCPS 8th graders were clearly focused on their future careers.
Some 350 local business leaders shared their professional expertise with students in the first-ever GCPS Career Connections Exhibition. This event featured 165 metro Atlanta employers, representing each of the College and Career Academies currently offered this school year at Gwinnett’s five Academy high schools— Central Gwinnett, Lanier, Meadowcreek, Shiloh, and South Gwinnett. The intent? To help students make an informed choice in selecting an area of focus when entering 9th grade at an Academy high school.
“The students who have their plans, they already know what they’re going to do and what college they’re going to attend… I think that’s very impressive,” said Tim Davis, representing Heatcraft. “When I was their age, I had no idea what I was going to do. It’s really surprising that you have someone in the 8th grade with that much ambition and drive.”
For students who hadn’t yet planned their futures, the exhibition presented a wide range of careers, from culinary ventures to electrical contracting apprenticeships, and veterinary fields to film and broadcast production companies. A big hit was one of the Southeast’s largest video game studios.
“The students have been so well-mannered and excited to be here, added Pam Ledbetter, president of Accent Creative Group. “They have really been anxious to learn and they’ve presented some interesting questions.”
What did you do to prepare
yourself to enter this field?
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What is the hardest part
of your job?