Page 26 - FIS World June 2021
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Seeing the Future
FIS alumni share their experiences in the field
  The virtual format of the 2021 Career Day featured dozens of presenters, eight of whom were FIS Alumni.
24 FIS World June 2021
The die was cast last October: 283 students, 23 presenters, 23 faculty facilitators, one keynote speaker, one tech and admin team – and one global
pandemic. The only way forward for the 2021 FIS Upper School Career Day was virtual.
As any teacher will tell you, talking to teenage students is an art. But engaging 15- and 16-year-olds about their future careers takes creative communication to the next level. Add to the mix students who will go on to study in at least 17 countries (our graduates from 2018–2020) and live and work in over 50 countries around the world, and never has the saying “it takes one to know one” in the most positive sense, been more apt.
With the many freedoms that a virtual event offers, the school’s Career Day organizers knew this was the year to involve our Alumni. Remembering the impact their own Career Day had on International Baccalaureate (IB) course selection and university choices, our Alumni showed no hesitation in stepping forward to give back; a third of the 2021 Career Day speakers were proud graduates of FIS.
The 23 highly experienced Career Day speakers made choosing just three topics for our students a challenge. With experts covering fascinating topics such as Law, Diplomatic Service, Medicine and Veterinary Science, Marketing, Finance, and Artificial Intelligence to name just a few, our students were given the chance to hear first hand what had inspired our speakers to choose the paths they had and what a “typical day in the office” might look like. Big names such as Amazon, Lego and Nike were also a draw to our students. With a question and answer session scheduled as part of every presentation, students had a chance to ask our experts about university degrees and qualifications,
work-life balance and the attributes needed to be successful in a particular field.
Thanks to our administration and IT Team, and a host of faculty facilitators to ensure Zoom security, the seamless technical delivery and in-call troubleshooting for the event ensured that students enjoyed three 30-minute sessions packed full of good advice from the comfort of their desks at home and a click on their computers.
The success of this year’s Career Day begs the question: Is virtual the way forward? Yes and No. The benefits of a virtual event are well known by now. Participation is no longer defined by geography and technology has made virtual interaction a daily part of our lives, something our students most definitely benefited from in this case. However, a post-event survey indicated that 55% of students would still prefer a face-to-face on-campus format.
With ever increasing technological developments in the classroom, large scale events of this nature will find their status quo. Hybrid events may become the norm, but Career Day at FIS will continue to inspire generations of students regardless of the format.
Thank you to all of the participants in this year’s Career Day and a special thanks to our Alumni for so generously sharing their time and expertise: Michael Ammon ‘06, Daniel Bargende ‘09, Raphael Baumann ‘93, Ellen McKay ‘12, Silvia Polvara ‘09, Matthew Tasa ‘98, Daphne Troost ‘12 and Katharina Sutch ‘92. Thank you for inspiring our students!
Hilary Polomsky
Development and Alumni Relations Manager

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