Alumni Offer Blue Jays Vocational Advice on Career Day 2017
Alumni are a great resource to today’s Blue Jays. One way yesterday’s students connect with the students of 2017 is by offering insight and practical advice about various careers. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, 36 alumni spoke to the seniors and juniors about 26 specific careers ranging from engineering to education on Jesuit’s annual Career Day. (See the attached list for the complete offerings and speakers.)
In two 30-minute sessions, the alumni speakers covered such topics as a look at a typical day in the office, future trends, college preparation, gaining experience, salary, and service opportunities within the field.
While the upperclassmen learned about specific careers, the sophomores, freshmen, and pre-freshmen assembled in the auditorium to hear about career paths in general. Jesuit guidance counselor Aurora Daigle offered advice to the underclassmen on career paths and gaining experience, including resources. Alumni director Mat Grau ’68 then introduced alumnus Blair Casey of the Class of 2003 to speak on how he got to where he is today.
“Blair Casey is here to tell you his story, hopefully to help you identify in your life the moments of awareness, the opportunities, the impulses that may shape your future,” said Grau. “I dare say that when he sat here in this auditorium 16, 17, 18 years ago, he had no idea of his future self. But perhaps a tiny seed was planted during his high school days. Perhaps it was a person or an experience that in some minute way pointed him toward the man he would become.”
In an inspiring presentation, Casey spoke on gaining perspective based on personal experiences. He told the younger Jays about his path after Jesuit, which led from Millsaps College to a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans, and then on to stints as a marketing assistant, professor at Jishou University in China, manager of an art gallery, and an accountant. Perhaps most notably, Casey worked as manager for New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason while he pursued his masters degree, returning a few years later not to take care of Gleason’s business, but to take care of the man himself, who had recently been diagnosed with ALS. Casey spoke about how he initially served as Gleason’s caretaker, gradually increasing his duties with Team Gleason to include managerial functions. Today he serves as the organization’s assistant executive director, a role through which he focuses on providing technology, equipment, and support to people living with ALS so they might live more productive and purposeful lives. A running theme in his presentation was the idea of not only meeting people, but actually talking with and listening to them in order to build connections that will inform one’s life.
Alumni who would like to volunteer their time for Career Day or any other alumni event at Jesuit should use this online Alumni Volunteer Form to indicate his interest.