Monday, March 29, 2010

Career Week: Day 1

During Chicago Public Schools' spring break, Cabrini Connections offers field trips to volunteers' workplaces. Our vision is that every child who joins a tutor/mentor program in 7th or 8th grade is starting a job and career of his or her choice by age 25. But for a dream to build in the mind of a student, it helps to visualize your goals. Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years? Let's go there now!

Career Week kicked off today with a visit to Water Tower Place on North Michigan Avenue. Wednesday night mentor Anne Davies is an attorney and leasing specialist who works for General Growth Properties, the company that manages Water Tower Place. She introduced us to the property managers who gave us a behind-the-scenes tour!

Caryn, Katie, and Brian began by telling us about their jobs and educational backgrounds. Caryn has a communications degree and she is a Senior Marketing Manager. She recruits big name stores to the mall and (hopefully) keeps them there. Katie also has a degree in communications and she does marketing for Water Tower Place so you choose it over other shopping options. If you read about the mall in the newspaper or on the Internet, the message probably originated at her desk. Brian has a degree in business and he is in charge of in-house maintenance. If a light bulb is out, he's the one to tell. (Our students caught a few.)

Aside from the mall itself, we saw a lot of things that you may not have known were a part of the building, such as a theatre, The Ritz-Carlton, and a secret basketball court! Thanks again, Caryn, Katie, and Brian for this one-of-a-kind access. Our students' shopping experiences at Water Tower Place will never be the same!

Our second stop was DePaul University in the Loop. Wednesday night mentor Brea Adams is a graduate student in school counseling, but she also works for the university in the Office for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. She helps run the Supplemental Instruction program which "aims to help students in historically difficult classes master content while they develop and integrate learning and study strategies."

Brea showed us parts of the downtown campus including the student center, the College of Law, and the College of Computing and Digital Media. She also showed us the very desk she works at every week! Being just a few years out of college, Brea was able to provide great insight into postgraduate studies and career choices. This trip was especially fun for Brea's mentee, Crystal Townsend, who was in attendance, but much fun was had by all. Thank you, Brea, for the opportunity.

For continuing Career Week coverage, check out Cabriniblog for Tuesday's recap and Nicole's blog for Wednesday's recap. On Thursday, EL Da' Sheon and I will lead a trip to Loyola and Northwestern Universities. (Go U! NU!). Thanks for reading!

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