One of my favorite activities at Dana each year is 8th Grade Career Day. For one day in January, the 8th graders travel off campus in small groups to meet people with interesting careers in their workplaces. These trips provide our oldest Middle School students some pretty incredible experiences. 8th grade Career Day has given our girls opportunities to practice delivering weather forecasts at WBZ-TV, to walk in the shoes of a Tufts Veterinary School student, and to manipulate a virtual reality human heart at a software design firm. They have seen the inner workings of a successful fashion design company, been behind the scenes at the Huntington Theater, and seen cancer cells under a microscope in a medical research lab.
These opportunities have been possible because of the hospitality of an interesting array of hosts. Our hosts have been engineers, artists, doctors, professors, interior designers, scientists and entrepreneurs, just to name a few. They are connected with the Dana community in a variety of ways. Some have been current or former Dana parents, some are Dana alumnae, some are friends of Dana faculty or families, and others are simply professionals who are generous about giving their time. All of the hosts have been very gracious and about sharing their experiences with our girls, and delivering inspiring messages about how important it is to find something they love and pursue it.
The destinations of the Career Day trips change from year to year, but the goals are always the same. We are not expecting the girls to plan out their lives or their career paths based on one day of 8th grade. Instead, the hope is that the girls will meet people who are passionate about what they do. By meeting these people, and seeing a glimpse of their work lives, our 8th graders can start to imagine a world of possibilities for their future selves.