GRJH hosts career day for students

Melissa Holmes|@LissaCHolmes Staff Writer

GLEN ROSE - Students at Glen Rose Junior High got a jump start thinking about their future professions during the school's Career Day on Nov. 24. The day featured 14 professionals with careers ranging from district attorney to veterinarian to game warden, plus many more.

Students rotated sessions throughout the day and got a chance to listen to each of the professionals speak about the challenges and rewards of their jobs. The kids got to ask questions about anything pertaining to the presenter’s chosen career. With so many different presenters, students gained a valuable insight into what it takes to succeed in the professional world.

Tom Lounsberry was on hand for the day to tell the kids all about his career as as a pilot and pilot instructor with American Airlines. During the presentation, Lounsberry explained how he became a pilot, the various routes the students could take to become a pilot and the security clearances pilots have to go through when flying to different parts of the world.

When it came time for questions the students had plenty for Lounsberry, which he was happy to answer. They asked him about the largest plane he flew (a DC 10), the coolest place he has flown to (the Caribbean and Hawaii), his longest flight (12 hours), and if he has ever crashed (no).

He was also asked what the biggest reward of his job was and he told the students that it was flying because it’s what he loves to do.

Former Glen Rose resident, Courtney Howell was also present to speak with the kids about her field. Howell is currently the social media coordinator and blog writer for the women’s lifestyles website, Model Behaviors. She also writes young adult novels and is in a band.

Howell shared with the students the journey of her career path and what a typical day is for her as a social media coordinator. She told them that if they are interested in a career in writing they could start now by creating a blog, becoming a guest author on an already established blog and growing their social media presence.

She also explained to the kids that when they go to an interview they need to show their future employers how they would beneficial to their company. For an example, Howell told the students how she was able to grow the social media presence of her previous employer tremendously, so when she applied for the position at Model Behaviors she was able to prove to them that she would be an asset to their company.

Howell said that the personal rewards she gains from her job are she loves meeting interesting women and connecting with people, and she feels like she is making a difference with the content she is able to share on the website.

Also presenting was Billy Martin, a retired unit chief of operations with the FBI. During his time with the FBI, Martin specialized in fingerprint analysis. Prior to joining the FBI, he was in the Air Force and served in Vietnam.

Martin told the kids about the most difficult time with the agency, the period right after 9/11. He described how new guidelines were implemented after 9/11 and how he went to Interpol to brief other countries on the importance of sharing fingerprints with each other. He also let them know that there were other career fields within the FBI besides being a FBI agent. For him the biggest reward of his former job was knowing that he made a difference and was able to protect people.

Martin closed his presentation by telling the students “don’t let anyone steal your dreams from you,” which was fitting, since the day was about teaching the students to dream big and aim for the top.