High school students explore careers through RCC

Published 9:45 am Saturday, March 30, 2019

Whether they were looking to become a massage therapist or a law enforcement officer, high school students from all over southeast Minnesota got a chance to see where they could see themselves in the future.

More than 1,000 high school students from traveled to Riverland Community College in Austin for Career Explorations Day. All over campus, students had a chance to learn more about various programs that the college offered, such as law enforcement, fire fighting, carpentry, cosmetology and more.

“We’re helping students see what’s out there,” said Muna Mohamed, Career Explorations Day coordinator. “I think with just some of the students walking by, they’re getting engaged with the various programs during their time here and learn what they’re looking for in a career.”

Julie Bayardo, a Riverland Community College massage therapy student, demonstrates some of the skills she learned through the college’s massage therapy program on Anna Carmody, also a massage therapy student, during RCC’s career fair on Friday.
Hannah Yang/hannah.yang@austindailyherald.com

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In the massage therapy program, high school students were able to see the various methods of massage therapy, such as cupping and more.

“It’s much broader than Swedish massage,” said Karla Caruso, program director. “It’s a nice quick program that only takes two semesters to complete. So many students didn’t know we had these different programs and we’re helping them realize that.”

Inside the Cosmetology salon space, several program students practiced hairstyling on some of the high school guests coming by to learn more about a potential future in that career field. Rory Tiller, a cosmetology student, straightened Olivia Culbert’s hair.

Although cosmetology wasn’t something that Culbert was necessarily considering for the future, she still found the various program offerings that Riverland had interesting.

“It’s good learning about different things, even if it’s not something you consider going into,” the Pacelli High School junior said. “I talked to a military recruiter and that’s something that interested me. You can learn about a lot of different things.”

Having Career Explorations Day was important for high school students to gain exposure to potential careers based on things that interested them. Tiller said that he had learned about his interest in cosmetology later in life and pursued his certification through Riverland’s program.

“I feel like I didn’t realize that cosmetology was something that I wanted to do,” he said. “I think even if you have a feeling, getting to experience something in person will help you know for sure. It’s good for people to learn about their interests as well.”