The Internet is full of information for students about future careers, but there is no better way to learn about a potential occupation than from someone who is already doing it. That is why Henry Sibley partners with BestPrep, a nonprofit organization that, among other programs, connects teens with eMentors–volunteers who correspond with students by email about their career, job responsibilities, educational background and more.
“Students get a taste of what is happening in a real world corporation,” said Bob Guinn, business education teacher at Henry Sibley. “Mentors do a great job of giving the students advice based on their experience.”
Henry Sibley students have participated in BestPrep’s eMentors program for the past several years. At the start of the new semester, students are paired with a volunteer mentor from a metro area company and provided with a list of questions and topics in order to start the correspondence. From there, the students and mentors, monitored by their teacher, exchange weekly messages about business operations, workplace skills, office culture, career advice and beyond.
This year, 11th and 12th grade students from Guinn’s Business Management class were paired with mentors from HealthEast Care System and, on April 18, they were able to meet them over lunch at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Saint Paul.
During the visit, students took a tour of the hospital and had an opportunity to see their mentors at work. Students also received first-hand exposure to the wide variety of careers available within the healthcare industry.
Throughout the tour, health professionals from different departments shared their career paths and answered questions regarding day-to-day tasks in their current positions. The class learned about jobs within the hospital’s administration offices, pharmacy, laboratories and cardiac rehabilitation center.
“Each year the students love the meet and greet and enjoy the tours of the company,” said Guinn. “I like the fact that the students get exposure to different careers that they might be interested in.”
Part of the Strategic Framework, Career and College Readiness, has been a focus within School District 197 for the past several years. BestPrep’s eMentors program is one example of the many ways Henry Sibley High School is working to prepare students for life after graduation.
BestPrep is a statewide nonprofit organization with a mission to prepare students with business, career and financial literacy skills through hands-on experiences that inspire success in work and life.
BestPrep’s six programs, Classroom Plus, eMentors, Financial Matters, Minnesota Business Venture, The Stock Market Game™ and the Technology Integration Workshop, are built on the foundation that students learn best through active participation in experiential activities. This approach helps students learn how to make sound business, career and financial decisions, to succeed in the workforce and to overcome future challenges.
Learn more about BestPrep at www.bestprep.org.