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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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GBS Connects unites students, professionals in open-atmosphere setting

GBS Connects unites students, professionals in open-atmosphere setting

GBS Connects, an all-day opportunity for South students to meet with professionals in careers they are considering pursuing in the future, occurred Dec. 12.

Staff members and Guidance Department administrators had this idea last year and hoped to host the program with other 50-year anniversary celebrations. The organization ended up being too much to do by the end of the 2011-2012 school year, so it was held this year, according to head of Student Services Dr. Lara Cummings and guidance counselor Socorro Rogers.

“We originally had the idea of bringing in GBS [alumnus], have them give back to [South] in a way and have them provide [students] with [insights like], ‘What does it take to [do] my current career?’” Rogers said. “It connects the content that [students] learn now to that particular career.”

By postponing the event, the Guidance Department was able to work in conjunction with the Glenview Chamber of Commerce to involve local businesses’ participation in GBS Connects.

“We have over 200 presenters that are coming at this time [and] six different sessions,” Cummings said before the event. “There are [about] 1,100 possible sessions that students will be participating in.”

The businesses that the Student Services Department decided to include were based on a selection of career paths of students’ choices. The data used to decide which professionals to consult was gathered from Naviance and a survey designed solely for GBS Connects, Cummings said.

“Our goal was to find what the needs and the desire of the student was and to find an occupation,” Cummings said. “If the student selected pharmacist and we didn’t have one, then we were out[…]recruiting a pharmacist and found one.”

From DePaul University’s women’s basketball coach to a restaurant owner to an aviation panel, at least one person from nearly every occupation listed in the GBS Connects pamphlet came in to speak with students, according to Cummings.

The program focused on each student and their interests, hence the wide range of interests and professions that students had the opportunity to make connections with, according to Rogers.

“It’s just thrilling that GBS put this together [for students to have] a sampling of all these careers,” Dr. Patricia Buckley, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, said. “My son graduated from [South] last year, and I just emailed him saying, ‘Oh, I wish you could have done this!’”

Rogers said the program allowed students to relate the material they are learning in  their classes to potential future careers.

“It exposes students to careers that they, at this point in time, are interested in,” Rogers said. “I think it’s so valuable for someone to sit in front of a physical therapist [for example] and say, ‘Wow, I really want to do that’ or ‘Wow, I would never want to do that.’”

Rogers and Cummings hope a similar event can occur once every other year so students can explore more than four careers before they graduate.

Freshman Alex Remunik believes that the day had an effect on his future career choices.

“I think it [helps] because it could answer any questions you still have about [a career] and clear up things,” Remunik said.

Brett Clark, District 34 public representative who spoke about journalism, hopes that students saw the value in hearing from people with real-life experience about different careers.

“If I am helping some of the kids decide that they might like it or they might not, I think is really valuable as they start deciding what they’re [going to] do down the road,” Clark said.

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