Career Day showcases unlikely careers

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2003

Ever consider making a career out of electrolysis?

What about building missiles or drag racing?

Ten years ago, these probably wouldn't be on the top 10 list next to fireman, policeman or doctor.

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But, times have changed, and the students who attended Career Day 2003 at the Troy-Pike Regional Center for Technology saw them all side by side.

Over 300 Troy City and Pike County 10th-graders visited 70 vendors Thursday morning.

The vendors were split into five clusters: Business/Information Systems, Arts and Communications, Industrial/ Engineering/Agribusiness, Health, and Human Services.

Local businesses and career representatives set up booths to explain to the students the education, work and opportunities their occupation involved.

The students picked two clusters they were interested in and spent a brief amount of time visiting the displays in each cluster.

Ann Barbaree, who helped with the event, said the cluster with the most students was Human Services.

&uot;It really has a variety of jobs from lawyers to cosmetology,&uot; Barbaree gave as the reason for its popularity.

The displays ranged from J-Jireh, a beauty shop, to Veterans Affairs to Lockheed Martin.

One display that attracted more than its fair share of attention was the professional drag racer.

Teachers and students alike marveled and this unlikely candidate for a career fair.

Racer Allen Lowery traveled from Pensacola, Fla., with his pretty blue $40,000 custom-made racecar to show that racing takes more than a big engine and a lead foot.

Lowery is his own travel agent, boss, public relations and marketing department, safety inspector and payroll,

&uot;The hardest part of the job is marketing,&uot; he said.

&uot;That's harder than anything else.&uot;

Although income is directly proportional to race results, don't underestimate the possibilities for success.

&uot;Last year an acquaintance of mine from Tennessee made $330,000 working 18 weekends,&uot; Lowery said.

Every business stressed the education involved in becoming a professional.

Greg Wilks, who represented Pinckard Insurance Agency, told his group of students getting a risk management degree will prepare them for becoming an insurance agent.

Mona Daughtrey and Robert Youngblood represented the Edge Regional Medical Center's lab.

They explained the importance of biology, math, chemistry and dedication to the job.

&uot;We have a shortage of medical technologists,&uot; Daughtrey said.

&uot;It's because we have to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.&uot;

She went on to say working in a lab is challenging and always changing.

&uot;There's never a dull moment,&uot; she said.

&uot;It's always a challenge and you never know what will happen next.&uot;

As students visited each booth, they filled out worksheets that asked for the career they visited, the representative they talked to and the requirements or benefits specific to that area.

The businesses were more than happy to help answer their questions.

&uot;It was very easy to enlist help,&uot; Dianna Lee said.

She represented the marketing department at Troy Bank and Trust and has been the Arts and Communications cluster chair for the last four years.

&uot;For most it is their second year,&uot; Lee said.

&uot;When I called, they said they'd love to do it.

They all want to give back to the community and this is a good opportunity.&uot;