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What Career Will You Choose?

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Career day gave the students of SIS the wonderful opportunity to listen to a multitude of speakers from different backgrounds about their careers. The most prominent similarity between these guests was that they all reiterated how they did not discover their true vocation in life when they were 17 years old. The professions represented ranged from chief executive officers to entrepreneurs, from doctors to ambassadors. The key note address that all students attended was by Hans Vestberg, former CEO of Ericsson.

Mr. Vestberg  began his presentation by asking the audience about what they wanted to do in life. As expected, there was a distinct lack of response from the students.

One 10th grader, Leo H., found, “the story of how Vestberg went from working as a janitor to the becoming the CEO of Ericsson very interesting and intriguing.” Moving up to becoming a manager he soon learned that he truly enjoyed leading people and taking on such responsibilities to make executive decisions. Thereafter, he worked for Ericsson for 28 years, moving all around Latin America – Argentina to Chile to Brazil to Mexico.  His two passions in life are leading people and international experiences, along with sports.

“His description of his uncertainty of his career at my age was easy to relate to , which added to my interest of his career story,” said Leo.

Other guest speakers who similarly spoke about their inability to make an early decision about their life careers included Rossen Apostolov, researcher at Stockholm University in computational chemistry;  Hélène Barnekow, CEO of Telia Sweden; Nina Sonkin, medical doctor; Johan Stael von Holstein, investor; Barry Walker, art director and graphic design teacher; Alexander Wegdell, corporate actions administrator; and many more.

Although 9th, 10th, and 11th did not necessarily listen to the same speakers, they were still able to gain meaningful insight into the journeys these people have taken. Ninth grader Cody M. especially thought that Mr. Apostolov’s speech was the most intriguing and inspiring.

“I found his work very interesting and unusual. I found this captivating and although I may not see myself in a career such as this, it was definitely a fascinating presentation,” said Cody. Apostolov has a PhD in Computational Chemistry, specializing in molecular simulations of biomolecules. He has worked with a supercomputer, looking closely at cells working to find a cure for alzheimer’s.

Completely the opposite of  the story of Mr. Apostolov was that of Mr. Johan Stael von Holsetin who is an investor. What students seemed to appreciate the most from von Holstein’s speech was the fact that he spoke more about working hard than being smart and strong.

Tenth grader Giordan Y. also enjoyed how he said that even though, “we need to work hard and be committed, it is useless if we don’t enjoy what we are doing.” This was one of the main lessons that students received from many of the speakers: the importance of finding a passion in life, trying new things, working hard, and to make an impact on the world and society.

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What Career Will You Choose?