Aviation to Sports Administration: Career Day a Hit for Blue Jays

Posted January 30, 2019 / Last updated June 24, 2022

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Sophomore Jony Morse asks a career question to alumnus speaker Jacques Hebert ’03.

One way yesterday’s students connect with the students of today is by offering insight and practical advice about various careers. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, a total of 37 Blue Jay alumni spoke to seniors and juniors about 28 specific careers at Jesuit’s annual Career Day.

Sharing a laugh with today’s Blue Jays, Greg Agid ’05 offers career advice to those interested in the music industry.

View the 2019 Career Day Photo Gallery

In two 30-minute sessions, the alumni speakers covered such topics as a look at a typical day in the office, future outlook of the field, college preparation, gaining experience, salary, and service opportunities within the field. From Accounting to Veterinarian Medicine and Aviation to Sports Administration, the careers on display were of great variety. 

Three fun facts about this year’s Career Day may be eye-opening for current students and parents. First, of the 37 alumni, there were 18 first-time speakers. Secondly, Cybersecurity was offered for the first time. And thirdly, alumni speakers traveled longer distances than ever before. Retired military alumnus Chip Herty ’94 drove in from Alexandria, Virginia, to speak; Eric Hanemann ’93, a Delta Airlines pilot, lives in North Carolina; Paul Saltaformaggio ’96 and Sheldon Perkins ’88 drove in from Baton Rouge; and Justice Buras ’05 commuted from Abita Springs to speak.

While upperclassmen learned about specific careers, sophomores and freshmen assembled in the auditorium for a presentation on career paths. Jesuit guidance counselor Andrew Schiro offered advice to the underclassmen on career planning. Alumni director Mat Grau ’68 then introduced alumnus Jacques Hebert of the Class of 2003 to speak about general career paths, using his own journey as an example. After five years in communications for Google and two years in public affairs for Mother Jones, Hebert became the communications director of the Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition of the National Audubon Society. He is now beginning his fifth year in this position.

Watch the Video of Jacques Hebert’s Career Day Address

Alumni director Mat Grau ’68 and Career Day speaker Jacques Hebert ’03 with guidance counselors Andrew Schiro and Mary Favalora

Hebert opened his address by describing his love for Jesuit and its cafeteria-cooked Shepherd’s Pie, drawing smiles and laughter from the crowd. He then told Blue Jays that they might notice people who have many different opinions about what career paths they should pursue.

“If your families are as well-intentioned as mine were, they have likely told you all the great careers you should consider,” Hebert said. “My grandmother insisted I would be a doctor, largely due to my poor penmanship; my mother was convinced I would be a lawyer who might go on to become President of the United States (no pressure, right? click this site to find out the best lawyer firm in town), and even my English teachers at Jesuit, well, they encouraged me to be a writer. While I appreciated their support, I came to learn that I was the only one in control of what path I chose, just as you are. You’ll have to learn to block out voices that might be distracting you from the one voice that matters the most—your own.”

In closing his inspiring presentation, Hebert emphasized the importance of kindness and of treating others with the respect and dignity they deserve.

“As you graduate and depart Carrollton and Banks, you will encounter a world of people from all walks of life with different perspectives, viewpoints and stories. Focus on the qualities that unite us and reject any need to emphasize what divides us,” he said. “Achieving the career you want is not the end of your journey, it’s the beginning…challenges will come, but it’s how you respond that will determine your success. And more than anything, be kind.”

The hour-long session, both in the classrooms and in the auditorium, saw Jesuit’s alumni serve as great resources to today’s Blue Jays. Alumni participation in Career Day is one of the more meaningful ways of reconnecting and giving back for the benefit of today’s students. 

Alumni Volunteers

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.

Career Day Speakers


2019 speakers

Accounting Corey Jambon ’99 
Advertising, Marketing Ward Rice ’84
Architecture Charles Neyrey ’95 
Construction Management John Eskew ’97 
Aviation  Eric Hanemann ’93 
Business – Contemporary Entrepreneurship Chad Thilborger ’93
Computers – IT – project management, programming, business systems  Evan Hart ’95
Computers – Software development Joe Ellis ’00
ComputersGaming Leland Smith ’05, Brad Borne ’03 
Culinary Arts – Restaurant Management David Whitmore ’90 
Cybersecurity Sonny Smith ’04    
Dentistry Stan Cowley ’95, Tre Defelice ’92
Education Havard Albright ’86 
Engineering – Civil, Mechanical, Electrical Bob Mora ’97
Engineering – Petroleum & Chemical Scott Haydel ’03 
the Film Industry Chris Serio ’01
Finance – Wealth Management, Financial Advisor Paul Saltaformaggio ’96
JournalismBroadcast & print Les East ’78
Law Graham Ryan ’04, Peter Mansfield ’96
Law Enforcement Andrew Waldron ’04, Sheldon Perkins ’88
Medicine Matt Gaudet ’97, Robert Occhipinti ’92 
the Military Chip Herty ’94 
Ministry Fr. Peter Finney ’02
Music Gregory Agid ’05
Physical Therapy Alex Farge ’05
Politics Thomas Mule ’99 
Sports Administration Kyle Huber ’09
Veterinarian Medicine Matthew Levy ’08
Career Talk to 9th & 10th Graders * Jacques Hebert ’03