Career Education lead students into working world experience

A sold-out crowd of business people and edu­cators experienced the world of career and co-op education through the eyes of students, and then witnessed the modern version of a classic fairy tale on April 3.

More than 170 people took part in the 4th Annual Business and Education Partnership break­fast, which celebrates the suc­cesses of the Career Education Council of Guelph Wellington Dufferin (CEC), and has the mandate of linking youth with local businesses.

Adam Peck, a grade 12 student at Erin District High School, took part in the CEC’s Ace the Interview program that brings local business people and students together for mock interviews.

“It was real-world experi­ence,” said Peck. “I was speak­ing with strangers, not teach­ers.”

Peck, who is now in a co-op placement as a teaching assist­ant, credited the experience with boosting his confidence and providing him with a much better understanding of the in­terview process. 

Katya Helmer, of Centen­nial Collegiate, in Guelph, barely glanced at her notes as she told the audience of her co-op placement at the River Run Centre.

Helmer said the place­ment allowed her to use the lead­ership skills she had al­ready developed as captain of Centennial’s cheer leading team, and to greatly expand her network. “It really changed my life,” she said.  “The hands-on learning was incomparable to anything that I’d learned in class.” 

“These young people are now connected to the working world in a way they never were before,” said Valerie Gilmor, Executive Director of the CEC. 

“Their contacts with business people really make a differ­ence, they bring academic learning to life – this is what it’s all about.”

Keynote speaker Sunjay Nath then took the audience on a journey of humour, energy, and inspiration as he explained his concept of the 10-80-10 principle.

Through personal stories, real world examples, and a slightly twisted version of Cinderella, Nath presented 10-80-10 as a way to recognize and develop the top ten be­haviours, while eliminating the bottom 10% actions that block success.

Through initiatives such as the annual Business and Educa­tion Partnership Break­fast, The Career Edu­cation Council pro­vides opportunities for young people to learn about careers, gain useful experience and build the skills necessary for success in the workforce.

The CEC is a not for profit busi­ness-education organization, established by the Rotary Club of Guelph in 1990.