Students Make Connections for Post-Graduation Pathways at Expo

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“You only get one chance to make a first impression.”

A representative from Cincinnati Recreation Commission shakes hands with a student.

More than 700 high school seniors across the district had the opportunity to make that memorable first impression by networking with the region’s business community at CPS’ fourth-annual Career Expo.

Held at the Sharonville Convention Center, the 2018 CPS Career Expo exposed students from Aiken, Dater, Oyler, Shroder, Gamble Montessori, Hughes, Riverview East, Taft and Woodward to 56 different companies, colleges, universities and branches of the military.

“Our career expo is a great opportunity to show our region’s businesses how great our students are and for our students to understand the breadth of resources that are available to them leading up to graduation,” said Brittney Cousins, career-based learning curriculum manager at CPS.

Students could ask company representatives anything from what a typical day was like at their organization and how they got into their field of work to what they enjoyed about their career and what advice, coursework, or post-graduation plans they’d recommend for a high school senior.

Alyssa Abrams, left, talks about her experience in P&G’s CIBI program with two students.

One opportunity students learned about was the Careers in Business Initiative (CIBI) at Procter & Gamble. P&G recruits Cincinnati students to work at P&G starting the summer after high school graduation, offering a stipend for college and the opportunity to return to the paid internship the following summer. Alyssa Abrams, who is in her second year at P&G through the CIBI, shared her experience and answered students’ questions at the P&G booth.

Additional opportunities students could learn about included Butler Technology’s high school-to-career program, employment opportunities from trade unions such as painters and pipefitters, and more.

A representative from General Electric shows a Shroder student part of a boroscope.

Nearly a quarter of the organizations present participate in the Business Advisory Council (BAC), such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Allied Construction Industries, PNC Bank, General Electric and Cintas Corporation. The BAC is a partnership between CPS and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Action Team that connects business volunteers with CPS students to help recognize potential career options and develop skills through mentorship and continued interaction.

CPS students prepare for the career expo by learning about the 16 career clusters in their Advisory courses and getting acquainted with networking essentials: walking up to a booth, extending a hand for a handshake and starting a conversation with confidence. Students could also select from five breakout sessions offered to learn about personal branding, interviewing or technology tips that assisted with resume-building and employment applications.

The CPS Curriculum Team thanks the 175+ company representatives and 50 CPS volunteers who contributed their time and talents so that all students could make the most out of the experience.

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