NOVA’s Loudoun Campus welcomed more than 20 Loudoun County high school students on November 16 to the Campus to shadow faculty, staff and administrators for the day as part of the “Job for A Day” program as part of the Loudoun School/Business Partnership.
The program for Loudoun County Public Schools juniors and seniors is an opportunity for students to see and experience what it is like to work in various professions and will hopefully shape their view of the workforce and encourage them to pursue specific career fields.
Students learned about what it is like to be an academic dean at a large college as well as a financial aid manager, facilities manager, high school outreach specialist, computer operations technician or a professor in various subject areas, including math, communication, music recording technology, economics, computer science and biology.
Loudoun Provost Julie Leidig hosted two students for the day. Naqia Zaveri, a senior at Potomac Falls, hopes to head to University of Virginia next year; and Sid Akalwadi, a junior at Rock Ridge High School, hopes to go to MIT, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University or Virginia Tech.
“This is a great way to learn how a college is run,” Akalwadi said. “There are so many responsibilities and details on top of most things. Even being involved in small details. The provost was even involved in choosing the carpet color in the new building. I wouldn’t have thought of that.”
Zaveri said she found the day to be a really informative experience for those interested in business management. She said she was impressed with how down to earth Leidig is. “She communicates with everyone on the same level.”
For her part, Leidig was excited to share a day in the life of a community college provost with eager high school students.
“Serving students in higher education is an incredibly gratifying career,” Leidig said. “Particularly working with those in a community college setting where students often are taking classes while working full time, caring for families and/or overcoming other challenges. Not many high school students are aware of all of the work that takes place behind the scenes to deliver an excellent college education. We hope that this was an inspiring eye-opener for the students, and that they also had some fun in the process.”
According to the Loudoun School-Business Partnership, goals of the program are to: allow students to explore fields in which they have an interest or aptitude; offer students exposure to career clusters about which they have not previously known; strengthen students’ awareness of business industry and business enterprises within the community, heighten students’ decision-making processes related to life skills and career choices, provide students with hands-on experiences with people, places and things not always available in a classroom or school environment and to help students learn about job/career opportunities within the local area.