Course provides first hand experience


By Kate Jackman-Atkinson

The Neepawa Banner

Now in its fourth year, the NACI Career Development course is helping students make informed choices about post-secondary education and career plans.  The goal is to educate students about potential careers and help them make choices based on their skills and interests.

Teacher Bryce Koscielny explains that the course connects students with post secondary education as well as “real life work”. The goal is also to expose students to the variety of jobs that exist.  “A lot of people don’t know what types of jobs are available,” said Koscielny.

This semester, 23 students are taking the Grade 12 course. 

One of the major components of the course is to send students into the workforce to try a career first hand. Since few students have first hand experience with their chosen post-secondary profession, work experience is an important part of the course.  

Koscielny explains that as part of the course, students spend two to three days volunteering at a job in which they think they have an interest. The goal is for them to experience as much real-life work as possible. Students have spent time with a number of local employers including Prairie Mountain Health, pharmacies, realtors, vet clinics, accounting firms and at a variety of trades, including plumbing, electrical and carpentry. Koscielny adds that for certain employers, students have to sign confidentially agreements.

Spending a few days actually working in a field helps students both learn about a career and decide if it’s right for them.  “For some, it’s a real eye opener,” said Koscielny, “It’s not what they thought.”  For others, time spent on the job further affirms a student’s career choice. 

Koscielny said that the feedback from the program has been “tremendous”.  He said that students have been offered full-time employment and given great letters of reference after their placement.  Even when students decide a career isn’t for them, he said that they find the experience valuable.

Since many businesses don’t know about the course and can be apprehensive when approached by students, Koscielny said that they want to raise awareness about the program. He also encourages businesses interested in hosting a student to contact the school. 

In addition to completing work experience, the course also gives students the chance to compare colleges and universities as well as brings in guest speakers to talk about their careers.

For more information about the course, employers can contact Koscielny at 204-476-3305.