UDA students learn about their future paths

By Rob WhearyStaff Writer


ROB WHEARY/Staff Photo Upper Dauphin Area senior Cody Wilkinson gives his presentation on cattle ranching, a career he may be interested in, during UDA’s fifth annual Career Exploration Day. The program, presented on April 6 at Upper Dauphin Area High School, gave students to do research on a chosen career and present the facts to their fellow students in the classroom.

ELIZABETHVILLE – Students in the Upper Dauphin Area School District got a brief idea of their future and what career they want to pick as the high school held its annual Career Day on April 6.
Not only did more than 40 guest speakers come out to talk to the students about how any career they are looking for is handled, senior class members gave oral reports about several different careers.

Senior Cody Wilkinson talked about a profession he was interested in – cattle rancher.
In this report, the student talked about all the different skills needed to be a cattle rancher, such as math and skill when dealing with the animals and the different equipment, but also mental skills, such as patience.
After talking about what schooling would be needed, Wilkinson got down to brass tax on the subject, how much the career pays.
“As far as salary goes, there is no set amount,” Wilkinson said. “With my family having a farm, I can tell you that farming and ranching is a gamble. If you have a great crop or a great herd, you have a good year. If you don’t, you get what you can out of it and try to do better next year.”
The students were evaluated by teachers on various categories, such as information given and delivery.
Following the 99 senior presentations on just as many careers, guest speakers from around the community and state met with students to talk with them about their futures.
Some speakers, like Dawn Schlegel, spoke about her chosen career of nursing. Others like Briana Kissell, a recruiter for Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, said that the sky’s the limit for those working with their firm.
“There are so many diverse jobs and room to grow with Hershey Entertainment, everything from the food service industry, to ride operators to hospitality workers,” Kissel said. “You can advance as well. The head of our human resources department starting working at Hersheypark while he went to high school and college.”
Kissel showed the students an exercise they do during training that helps them see if a new employee is well suited for the hospitality industry. Pairing off the students into two lines, she had one group of students close their eyes and lose the expression on their face. The other group of students would put the biggest smile on their faces.
On her count, the students opened their eyes and looked at the smiling students, and not one could keep a straight face.
“In our business, smiles are contagious. We want the people that can put a smile on the face of a person that may not be having a good time or has a problem that we can help solve,” Kissel said.
The day ended with a special guest speaker, Carlisle realtor John Ulsh, of Carlisle, who spoke about his life experience after being involved in a head-on collision and paralyzed from the waist down. He spoke to the students about appreciating their lives and every second in them.

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