First Annual Conference on “Education and Career Development”

Date: 6/25/05

Reporter: Pearl Conden

    On Saturday, June 25, 2005, I and the other NASA SHARP students attended the First Annual Conference on “Education and Career Development”. The Frito-Lay and Pepsico Company sponsored the conference. The conference was held on the California State University LA campus. The Career Center at Cal State LA coordinated the conference and put together the program.  More than 40 students and 20 parents attended the conference, most of which had an ethnic background.

            The students ranged from sixth to eighth grade and ninth to twelfth grade. Most of the students were from clubs and societies that were from schools around the Los Angeles area. Most of the students had a Latino background, so there was a second language spoken at the conference for the convenience of the parents who did not speak English.

            The purpose of the conference was to inform students of different races or ethnic backgrounds that are many different ways to get into college and to receive financial aid. It was to inform us of the many scholarship opportunities that are out there and how we can receive this money for college. One scholarship in particular was discussed at the conference, which was the Frito-Lay and the Pepsico Company scholarship money that they give each year to students at Cal State LA, who may become future employees of the Frito-Lay and Pepsico Companies.

            The conference began at 9:30 AM and ended at 4:30 PM. There were two sections at the conference. There was a section for the students and a section for the parents. In the beginning of the conference, the parents and the students stayed together in one section. There was breakfast and icebreakers to help each student get along with one another.

At the student section of the conference, professors from Cal State LA known for their outstanding teaching abilities and for the many awards that they have received over the years as a teacher. Each professor spoke about Cal State LA and also about their perspective fields of study. The first professor spoke about an educational career in teaching and counseling. She informed the students of the many opportunities that a teaching career would provide for them. She spoke about the many advantages of being a teacher.

The second speaker spoke about a career in Business and Economics. She informed the students of the many jobs that would be available for those who majored in business. She also spoke about the amount of money that some people make after the graduate with a degree in business. The third speaker spoke about a career as a social worker. She informed the students that it was a fulfilling and satisfying job. She also gave tips and advice on how to get started on a career in social services.

The fourth professor spoke about electrical engineering and engineering in general. She informed the students of the many job opportunities that would be available by the time they would graduate. She also informed the students of the amount of money an engineer would make and how technology is developing and changing and what an advantage that would be to know what is going to happen before others know what is going to happen.

The fifth professor spoke about a career in the film and T.V. industry. He informed the students of the many job opportunities and the money that could be made as a film producer. He said that there were hundreds of jobs to be found in the film and T.V. business because they were always making films and they are always looking for more people to hire.

The last speaker spoke about a career in Physical Education. She informed the students about job opportunities as a coach or a physical therapist. She also mentioned that there is a possibility of being a professional athlete but chances may vary with the sport.

After all the professors spoke about their perspective fields, representatives from Frito-Lay and Pepsico came up and spoke about their program in Cal State LA and how you could get into the program and become an employee one day. After the presentations from the Frito-Lay and Pepsico Company was finished the conference ended with a presentation provided by the Career Center on how to be prepared for college and how to apply for college.

The presentation at the end of the conference, gave very specific details on how and when to apply for college. They informed us that we should start the process as early as your junior year in high school. Your colleges should have already been picked by your junior year and you should have already retrieved the application and have already started to fill it out.

It was a great experience to have participated in such a conference. I was very glad to have been a part of such a diverse group of people. It was great to have received so much information about college and financial aid. The best event of the conference was the part when the college professors spoke about their perspective fields and informed us about what classes you should take in order to be what you want to be. It was an amazing, informative, fun, and interesting day and it has helped me a lot on what I may do in college.



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