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Pinecrest Academy holds second annual career day
2WEB in fire engine
A group of Pinecrest students sit inside a Forsyth County fire engine as they learn about working as a firefighter during career day. - photo by Jim Dean

Companies that were represented

• ARRIS International LLC Splunk
• Red Bull North America
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• MAGS Homes
• MuleSoft
• ARIAD Oncology
• The Coca-Cola Company
• Duluth Animal Hospital
• Resources Global Professionals
• Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office
• Forsyth County Fire Department
• Whitelake Studio
• ARRIS International LLC

Presenters also spoke to students about careers in:

• Entrepreneurship
• District attorneys’ offices
• Law
• Occupational therapy
• Sales and marketing
• Graphic design
• Chemistry and polymer science
• Law and the military

Choosing a future career path and school to make it happen may be one of the most daunting decisions made by high schoolers. Luckily, some students were able to get advice from the community.

Pinecrest Academy recently held the school’s second annual career day to give high school students a chance to talk and ask questions to professionals to learn about their options.

“We’re helping students to discover careers, so we invited a lot of our family, friends, parents here just to kind of talk about what they do for a living so students can accurately answer the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ question,” said Amy Herbert, a college and career counselor at the private parochial school on Peachtree Parkway.

Six sessions were held throughout the day to allow students to speak with professionals from careers including engineering, occupational therapy, law, software companies, photography, public safety, entrepreneurship and others.

Many of the presenters brought props and items, including members of the Forsyth County’s Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department, who brought stun guns, spike strips, cruisers and fire engines.

“We just went to the firefighters and police officers and we got to go in the big crime scene bus and they just explained what they do,” said senior Kate del Balzo, who is planning to major in education at Sewanee, the University of the South in Tennessee.

“It was very cool. We got to sit in the cars and trucks, then we went to occupational therapy, too,” added fellow senior Mary Patota, who plans to attend Auburn University.

Students were allowed to decide which sessions to attend by picking from a handout with each industry and a description for who might be interested. For example, the description for engineering said the session was for those who “always have to know how things work, especially when they don’t.”

“I think our biggest thing today was even if your dream career wasn’t offered here, just for them to really understand what the skills in order to be successful in each career are,” Herbert said. “Sometimes what we think a lawyer does or what we think an occupational therapist does and what they really do can be very different.”

Nick Satriano, an attorney, spoke to students about careers in the law in government and the military as an Army Reservist and member of the Judge Advocates General’s Corps. He said the event was helpful to let students get information from others as they decide a career path.

“I think it illuminates them,” he said. “Primarily, they gather so much intelligence from their moms and dads and their families members, but I always think it is very positive for them to hear from other individuals that are out there, and Pinecrest is a great community for parents to come in and get as involved in their children’s lives as their teachers are.”