Black Student Union holds Career Day to show students a variety of occupational paths to explore

On Friday, Feb. 23, Black Student Union and Allies organized and held a career fair in the lunchroom, which exposed students to non-traditional career paths from various walks of life, from a mother doubling as a disciplinary artist and a doula all the way to an ex-NFL player. This event encouraged students to explore other paths after high school, as college is not fit for everyone.

Marissa Charleston, Special Education English teacher and BSUA sponsor, organized this event alongside
Erin O’Connor, English teacher and BSUA sponsor, as well as other members of BSUA. Charleston invited a bunch of her friends to come and share their experiences, in hopes of benefiting students by helping them learn about different careers and paths. Additionally, a few of the guests who showed up were family or friends of students.

“My goal is to expose students to non-traditional careers, and to encourage them to explore different facets of life, to encourage them to get to know different types of people,” Charleston said.

One of the guest speakers was Jasmine Williams, creator and owner of her cosmetic brand All That Jazz Cosmetics and makeup artist. Not only did Williams display her talent for makeup on students, but she also displayed the leap of faith she took in starting her business, which has only blossomed after three years.

“Within three years I’ve already accomplished so much- I’ve worked with celebrities such as Toyna Holland, Monti Carlo, MC Lyte, and Lynn Richardson, and I still do makeup for everyday people- I love to do weddings, I love to do prom- all of that,” Williams said.

Like many other guests, Williams explained how you should follow your passion, and keep pushing towards such no matter what the circumstances are. If you could do something effortlessly, and it’s something you strongly enjoy, you should always follow that path, as it will only result in bliss.

“When you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,” Williams said.

Former NFL player and current private equity associate Bryce Fischer shared the wide range of jobs he has had over the years, and how eventually he found his passion for numbers through finance, showing students that it may not be a straight path ahead, but eventually you may get there.

“I went to the air force academy, I served in the military, I played professional football, I spent a decade in investment banking and three years in private equity,” Fischer said.

Fischer does not hold any regret as he enjoyed each job he took part in, although some ended up not being “the one”. It is good to acquire different experiences with time, as you will only learn more about yourself. When asked about career advice for the younger generation, Fischer had a lot to offer.

“As a young person, the world is so large, and there are so many opportunities in front of you. It is important to explore these opportunities to find what your purpose is,” Fischer said.

Another guest at the event was a woman named Takeisha Thompson, the Global Organization Effectiveness Consultant for McDonalds. She originally started her career in non-profit work, by connecting people as a career coach to job opportunities, until she worked her way up to corporate.

“When I ask myself why do I want to climb up the ladder, or why do I feel like I deserve these opportunities, I remember the importance of knowing who I am in order to advocate for myself,” Thompson said. “It’s a really good thing I have always kept in my back pocket.”

As a black woman in corporate, there are not many women like her in the industry, meaning she had to stay strong and advocate for herself, showing others what skills and the value she has to offer to the company. Being clear to others of who she is and the potential she holds within the business world is something she continues to maintain till this day.

“Knowing who you are and that you have a gift and those gifts will always make room for you- even in spaces where you never thought they would–even when a door closes in your face there is always a back door or a window,” Thompson said.

When asked about those who have inspired her, Thompson credited the strong women of this world who fight for their places in society and the job market, and their determination in doing so.

“Any powerful woman who doesn’t take no for an answer- any strong woman that is confident with who she is–especially in a male dominated industry–that has made a way for herself and other women along with her are the women who I look up to and bring me inspiration,” Thompson said.

Senior and BSU social media manager Tiara Brandy, who helped organize the event, expressed her hopes in holding the event, and how it will impact students.

“I hope students are able to see non-traditional career paths and really just appreciate them overall because not everyone has the same path after high school, and I think that should be celebrated and acknowledged,” Brandy said.

More to Discover