BHS Career Exposure Day Airmen provide job insight

SPANGDHALEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Bitburg High School students listen to 2nd Lt. Kaitlin Kenny, 52nd Communications Squadron network control center OIC, during Career Exposure Day at Bitburg High School May 4. Lieutenant Kenny's presentation covered the computer technology career field, specifically, what students could do as a civilian in the computer or IT industry, and opportunities available while serving in the U.S. Air Force in the Communications field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrea Knudson)

SPANGDHALEM AIR BASE, GERMANY -- Bitburg High School students listen to 2nd Lt. Kaitlin Kenny, 52nd Communications Squadron network control center OIC, during Career Exposure Day at Bitburg High School May 4. Lieutenant Kenny's presentation covered the computer technology career field, specifically, what students could do as a civilian in the computer or IT industry, and opportunities available while serving in the U.S. Air Force in the Communications field. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrea Knudson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BAES, GERMANY -- Bitburg High School teamed up with the 52nd Fighter Wing to create a Career Exposure Day for more than 340 students to help them see what career opportunities await them when they graduate. Career Exposure Day replaced a typical school day where students attended 12 different presentations learning about more than 30 different career fields in the Air Force. 

"The Career Day program gives us at the school an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the wing," said Mr. Michael Cottrell, BHS teacher. "We can introduce the students to some of the careers that are out in the work place with the Air Force that they may not know of," he added. 

Students may only know about pilots and doctors in the Air Force, or just the jobs that their parents do. This day showed students that there are more opportunities out there for them. 

"I know I'm a senior and I am always changing my mind about what I want to do after high school," said senior Chelsea Boyer. "It's a great chance to get to know what's out there." 

Val McCamish, a culinary arts teacher at the high school, said Career Exposure Day may help students make better informed decisions about what they want to do after high school. 

"Activities like [Career Exposure Day] help to expand students' knowledge and provide them with information that can be useful to them in the future," Mrs. McCamish said. "Many students think they know what they want to do, but they do not really know until they explore the many possibilities." Mrs. McCamish also added that she was pleased with the turnout from the 52nd FW. "[The] great support from the community helped to make this activity a great one for [the] students. It is a true measure of how the base supports its young people."   

Dana Cottrell, an information specialist at the high school, echoes the sentiment of many of the teachers and other school professionals. 

"Personally, I love career days [that are] held at schools," Mrs. Cottrell said. "I have learned so much from them over the years and look forward to next year's career day."
Master Sgt. Lindsay Montgomery, the Career Exposure Day organizer for the 52nd FW, said the day was beneficial for both the students and Airmen and that it also emphasized an important aspect for the students. 

"[The day] strengthened the partnership within our community providing a wonderful opportunity for students and professionals to interact," said Sergeant Montgomery, 52nd Mission Support Group GSU support superintendent. "However, the biggest benefit was emphasizing the importance of education (core subject knowledge) on any future career choice and its application." 

In the end, more than 44 Airmen from Spangdahlem volunteered to teach students about the variety of jobs out there for them. Not only did they teach the students about their career fields, but they also brought in a wide array of equipment to give the students a hands-on feel for the tools they could possibly use in the future.