Pursuing Futures at Catch-A-Career

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Gathering at the Irish Coffee Pub on Oct. 27, an eager array of 69 students from the high school participated in the annual Catch-A-Career Breakfast, interacting and learning from 32 table facilitators representing fields such as medical and healthcare, business and finance, law enforcement, journalism and media, politics, education, health services, engineering, environmental sciences, and information technology.

Developed by the East Islip School-Business Partnership and teachers Bridget Lopiccolo and Paul McHugh for the school’s strong career exploration program, this annual networking breakfast provides a forum for students to discuss their career plans with business professionals representing their fields of interest. Students gain insight on current trends and specific skills needed to successfully prepare for employment in that career field.

“Catch-A-Career is the first step that students take to see what their future may be like,” said Lopiccolo. “The students ask vital questions of the professionals about the careers they are interested in pursuing, which helps students narrow down their career choices. Students who attend it often save thousands of dollars in college expenses because now they now know exactly what they need to get to their career goal.”

Mike Russo, founder and owner of Sticky Quotes, was this year’s keynote speaker, discussing the importance of taking advantage of opportunities in both college and career. An alumnus from East Islip’s Class of 2012, Russo was chosen as CFO of the International Business Globalization Career Academy’s Virtual Enterprises program. He is currently attending Molloy College and serves as a mentor for VE program students both in East Islip and other Long Island districts.  

The next step in East Islip’s career exploration program is the Mentor Me program, which provides students with the chance to participate in job shadowing during January and February.