No luck involved: KPC Career Day emphasizes importance of preparation

Posted: Monday, November 08, 2010

On a sign in a hallway of Kenai Peninsula College's Kenai River Campus is some much needed advice for job seekers: "Luck is when preparation meets opportunity."

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Photo By Brielle Schaeffer
Photo By Brielle Schaeffer
Haylee Swanson, 16, a Soldotna High School sophomore, gets hooked up to a TENS unit by Shawna Cooper, a physical therapist at the hospital, at Kenai Peninsula College's Career Day on Friday. Davina Schultz, 15, also a Soldotna High sophomore, looks on.

Preparation was the emphasis at Kenai Peninsula College's Career Day held on Friday for students and community members.

Dozens of high school and college students meandered through the hallway selecting sessions with professionals from the community to learn about different occupations.

"I was totally confused before this," said Savannah Anchinges, a 15-year-old Skyview High School sophomore.

She said she wants to be a marine biologist, but before the sessions she attended at Career Day she did not know how to pursue that career track.

Now she knows she needs to take lots of math and science classes, she said.

"It was really useful and helpful," Anchinges said.

Krista Timlin, the career and community engagement programs manager at the college and co-chair for the event, said there were more than 70 presenters holding different sessions Friday so attendees could explore career opportunities.

"I think an event like this is really good because it can give people an idea of what to expect," she said. The event lets students figure out what it takes to get into certain careers and also provides an idea of day-to-day job responsibilities.

This is the 21st year the college has put on a Career Day event. Timlin said it's important that people choose personally fulfilling careers.

"We spend a lot of our time at work and the years can go by very quickly. I think it's important to do something you enjoy," she said. "When you're going to a job that feels like drudgery your life can feel like drudgery."

Aleigha Davidson, 16, a sophomore at Soldotna High School, said she came to Career Day "to learn about opportunities and find out how to better my life."

For her, that meant going to presentations about physical and medical careers because she's always wanted to be a nurse.

"I guess I just like taking care of people," she said. "I always played nurse when I was little girl and put Band-Aids all over my sisters."

Davidson was at a presentation on physical therapy with Shawna Cooper, a physical therapist at Central Peninsula Hospital.

"It's just nice to introduce my profession to kids and get them interested in it," Cooper said.

Career Day had a dual purpose -- to inform students about careers and possibly get them interested in professions that are needed and available on the Kenai Peninsula.

Ruben Foster, an adjunct faculty member at the college and the district supervisor in probation and parole, was at the event to promote the college's new program in corrections.

He said the day was "instrumental in getting kids interested in careers in corrections and public safety in general," as well as showing students they can go to college for something in which they are interested.

Foster said he loves his job, something he tried to impart on the students that stopped by his booth.

"You have to love what you're doing because you've invested in it so long, the people you work with become your family," he said.

That's a lesson Anchinges picked up at Career Day on choosing the right career.

"Make sure you like it," she said.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at

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