Thursday, June 3, 2010

Career Day

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be asked to present for career day at my daughter's elementary school. Giving the same 30 minute presentation 4 straight times to groups of 5th graders was very different from any type of presentation related to my work than I have ever done in the past.

Before the afternoon of presentations all of the presenters had lunch in the school library with the principal. I shared a table with a nutritionist, and even though it obviously wasn't a competition, in my mind I figured my content at least had hers beat. Then we were joined by a comic book artist, who clearly beat both of us. And the pilot in full uniform probably beat all 3 of us. But overall I think the vet who showed up with a parrot, a cat, and some sort of rodent couldn't lose. At least I finished ahead of the woman who administered insurance captives.

My favorite part of the day was during my presentation when I asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grow up. I fully expected the answer that 75% of the boys gave: professional athlete. I probed a few of them about which sport, and they usually hadn't settled on a specific one yet. I expected at least a few kids to say they wanted to be actresses or singers, but I didn't get a single one. I was also surprised that only 1 child in all 4 classes said that he wanted to be a policeman or a fireman. But the 2 answers that surprised me the most were the boys who said "hedge fund manager" and "sniper". In hindsight, I wish I he'd probed both of those boys a bit about their answers. I did at least clarify with the sniper that he was planning on joining the military.

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