Daydreaming about the future is exciting. Just think of all those different opportunities, all the places you could go, all the people you might meet; the world is your oyster!
However, when it comes to the actual planning of the future, well, that can be rather daunting. For students at Kralanh High School, thinking about the next step after Grade 12 can be overwhelming when you do not have access to information. Through supplementary programs like Dream Class, PEPY hopes to provide students with the skills and information they need for adult life through workshops, talks and field trips.
On 19th-20th January 2013, Siem Reap province held its first National Career Fair. On Sunday 20th PEPY took 19 high school students from Chanleas Dai commune to visit the fair so they could find out more about the opportunities available to them after Grade 12.
The Fair was made up of two parts. Throughout the day, different speakers from local Siem Reap businesses held talks about their specific field of work. Speakers included hotel managers, restaurant owners and NGO directors. In between these talks, visitors could browse the different stands set up by each business in order to speak to employers directly and ask questions one on one.
The trip aimed to give students the opportunity not only to learn more about their career options, but also to understand the process of getting in to particular industries. What different jobs can I do in a bank? What training and education do I need? Can I apply for vocational short-courses in this area? The fair also allowed students to speak to employers directly and ask them questions about their experience and their advice for people in a similar position. As Lida Loem said “there are so many jobs out there waiting, students just need to be told where to look!” By finding out all this information, Lida Loem believes the students should feel more confident about life after High School, and more able to focus their studies as they have a better idea of what they are working towards.
A particularly useful part of the fair was the section of talks offering general career advice, such as ‘how to write a CV’, ‘how to write a covering letter’ and ‘interview dos and don’ts’. Whether interested in the hotel industry or working in a bank, students were given information on the fundamental skills needed when applying for a job. Hand-outs from the talks were also distributed so students could share the information with their families and friends, and the presentations have been made available online for use in school.
In the next week, the 19 students who attended the fair will be asked to complete a survey, reflecting on the trip and on what they found useful. Following this feedback, Lida Loem hopes to hold a further job fair in Kralanh High School so that all the students are able to attend and find out about the many opportunities awaiting them.