MT. VERNON — — For Sesser veterinarian John Spence, the best part of Friday's Career Fair at Mt. Vernon Township High School was how it gave kids a “real world” perspective on different professions.
Too often, students have an unrealistic view of what certain careers entail, which can lead to disappointment down the road, Spence said.
Veterinarians, for example, have to deal with situations sometimes that aren't always pretty, he said.
“I think it's important to do career fairs because it gives kids a real perspective about jobs,” Spence said. “Especially for my profession, kids have the idea that all we do is pet the dogs and pet the cats. … You don't want to go into it with an unreal perspective.”
Spence was one of 32 area business professionals who had informational booths at Friday's Career Fair at MVTHS.
The event is held each year by the Rend Lake Area Regional Delivery System, in conjunction with the Hamilton-Jefferson Counties Regional Office of Education.
Roughly 1,200 area students, mostly eighth and ninth graders, attended Friday's fair. The students were from schools in Jefferson and Hamilton counties.
“(It's) just to help us find out what we want to do in life,” said Mariah Stone, an eighth grader at Grand Prairie Elementary School.
Students at the fair had the chance to stop at a variety of different career booths to hear brief presentations from real business professionals.
Every 10 minutes or so an alarm would go off and the students would then have about a minute and a half to get to their next booth.
“It's kind of like a career fair meets speed dating,” said Kara Andrews, director of the Rend Lake Area Regional Delivery System. “So they can see several different careers while they're here.”
Andrews added that the goal of the event is to get kids thinking about their future careers now instead of later.