Connecting current juniors from his school with alumni to learn about careers
Abe wanted to take on this project because he wanted to give his classmates the opportunity to learn more about the career categories they are interested in, see what life in a potential career could look like, and take a moment to begin building professional contacts. He personally is unsure about what career he wants to pursue, and therefore is interested in learning about what certain jobs may look like. This motivation has allowed him to connect current juniors at his school with alumni and foster valuable relationships that will help the students obtain more clarity for their future.
“I am often asked what I want to do for a job later in life, a question to which I usually respond that I am unsure. I wanted to create a way for students to learn more about a career category they are interest in and begin to answer that question of what do you want to do when you grow up?” – Abe Tolkoff
Implementation of Project
Abe’s project involved a vast amount of communication, mainly in the form of meetings and emails. He began by connecting with the Alumni House at his school, and identifying a person of contact there. Together, they began to reach out to both students and alumni who may have had an interest in participating in the program. In this phase of the project, he corresponded with both groups of people, and identified a primary day for the first shadows to occur. Scheduling was perhaps the hardest part of his project, specifically selecting a day in which students were not in school, but most people were working. With one shadow day behind him, Abe looks ahead to four or more dates in the Spring of 2020, hoping to involve as many students and alums as possible.
“I was extremely fortunate to develop a strong relationship with my contact at the Alumni House at my school, she helped me identify alums who would likely be interested in participating, and searching for certain careers and jobs as student interests were discovered.” – Abe Tolkoff
Results of Project
At the moment, Abe’s project is far from complete. He has laid the groundwork for multiple future shadow days, and established connections that will ensure these days go smoothly. He spent dozens of hours meeting with administrators at his school, Alumni House contacts, and interested students. Additionally, he plans to enlist the two students who participated in the first “pilot” shadow day to recruit more participants for future events. He hopes that by the end of the school year in May of 2020 he will have paired about twenty students with professionals in the Greater Boston area.
“While my project is still ongoing, I have set myself up to facilitate multiple shadow days and involve many more students. I hope to connect as many students as possible, and have been extremely proud to hear the positive reactions that I received from participants already.” – Abe Tolkoff
Through the project, Abe began to realize how powerful his leadership experience at Alzar School was and that his small effort could result in major changes in the lives of others. He hopes that even after his CLP is complete, he can identify areas in which he can continue to make a positive influence in his home community, using the skills he honed during the semester. In talking with the alums who participated in the program, teachers, and administrators at his school, he has heard an interest in continuing the program and formalizing it. In that vein, he hopes that next year he can identify another student to begin to take the lead on the project and work with them to continue his work.
“I learned how much influence I can have on someone’s life, and that has inspired me to find other areas where I can make that difference. My CLP and Alzar has inspired me to seek areas to make changes in my community and expand my influence.” – Abe Tolkoff