IUSD students and parents attend the virtual College and Career Fair


Photo provided by Mihir Joshi

REWIND: Junior Mihir Joshi visits the Vital Link desktop browser after the College and Career Fair to rewatch one of the workshops that he missed.

Ashley Lee, A&E Editor

Students and parents attended IUSD’s first virtual College and Career Fair on Feb. 22 from 6-8 p.m. via Zoom live sessions.

More than 1000 students registered to listen to the guest speakers, ranging from college admission officers and professionals in specific careers to alumni from IUSD high schools. In several workshops, IUSD alumni discussed transitioning in and out of careers or schools, advising students on how to apply those experiences to their own personal lives. 

“The simple fact of being able to receive guidance from your alumni and other students who have gone through your path and seeing them understand your thoughts was assuring,” freshman Joy Bae said. “The advice they gave at the end to enjoy high school, stay positive and explore will help me progress into a better person and student.” 

In addition to the 16 different live workshops, representatives from more than 50 colleges, including CSUs and UCs, were available for students to individually speak with. 

The importance of actively seeking opportunities to search for a career was a common theme repeated throughout the night. Speakers offered different ways to explore these career paths, such as through the Regional Occupation Program (ROP), Career Technical Education (CTE) classes or community service.

“Career education courses provide hands-on experiences that build teamwork, leadership, creativity, problem solving and a variety of high demand industry sectors,” IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker said in a welcome video. “I hope you understand that attending this virtual event…will be an important step in your college and career readiness.” 

The event was held in partnership with Vital Link, a non-profit organization that seeks to educate students about career paths, and topics included transitioning into college, community service and potential pathways. The live workshops were divided into three categories: students, colleges and pathways. There were two pathway workshops about pursuing engineering and health, where the speakers talked about their personal journey in deciding to pursue a certain career, including the extracurricular activities they participated in during high school. 

“Especially during this time where we’re unable to do things like college tours and communication with counselors is much harder, I really appreciate that we could go to these sort of sessions to learn information that we would have not been able to receive,” junior Sharon Leo said. “It’s good since they also talked about career paths outside of just majors, which is something that isn’t really focused on during school.” 

For those who were unable to attend the fair or would like to catch up on specific workshops, register here by Feb. 26 to view all the recorded live sessions. To keep up with the opportunities in your community, check out the College and Career Center page on the NHS website.