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The Path to Your Passion: WAB Career Fair 2015

February, 2015
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“Self-motivation is the most important characteristic for your success.”

“Studying languages opens up so many opportunities to work around the world.”

“It is important to be in an environment where you have a mentor, freedom to explore, and can have fun, enjoying your passion.”

“You can take many paths to get to where you want to go."

These are just some of the tidbits of insight that visiting professionals shared with Grade 10 and 11 students at the 7th Annual Career Fair on 27 January.

wab-career-fairIn a series of panel discussions, journalists, lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, photographers, architects, dancers, engineers, economists, diplomats and more spoke about their experiences and answered questions from curious High School students, who are preparing for life after Western Academy of Beijing (WAB).

The 2015 Career Fair came at a pivotal time for Grade 10 students pursuing an International Baccalaureate Diploma. They are in the process of deciding which classes to focus on during their final two years of High School – classes that will eventually provide options for further studies or professional training.

The Parent Link sponsored event is designed to connect students with professionals who can provide wisdom and guidance beneficial to the students’ future.

“The Career Fair gave me a sense of whether I want to join that field of work or not,” said Grade 11 student Derek Liu. “I was interested in architecture, but didn’t have a good idea of this career path. The specialists helped me, and I found out that it is definitely a possibility for my future. I also found out the journalist’s lifestyle is something that I would definitely not enjoy.”

Derek’s reflections demonstrate the precise purpose of events like the Career Fair. The more than 60 visiting professionals spoke openly and honestly about what it takes to succeed in their field, and many stressed the importance of engaging in something you love.

“What they should be focusing on is their passions,” said High School Counselor Michelle Chow-Liu, who helped organize the fair. “What do they love? What motivates them? Knowing the answers to these questions is far more important than knowing exactly what they want to do.”

Attending an international school like WAB, students already have an incredible experience living in a diverse environment with exposure to a variety of cultures and languages. Many of the visiting professionals had worked in locations around the world, and explained to the students that they should take advantage of their international backgrounds when thinking about their future plans.

“I feel that our students are very adaptable and ready to take on any challenges or obstacles they face. I won’t be surprised to find out that many of our students are working internationally once they finish their degrees,” said Chow-Liu.

The Annual Career Fair is one of many WAB events to help guide students and ensure they are prepared for life after graduation. Students can use the knowledge they gain from speaking with professionals at the fair to seek out a position for the World of Work Week, during which Grade 10 students work as interns at companies around Beijing.

At the lunch event for the visiting professionals, Director Courtney Lowe thanked the guests for taking time from their work to speak with students.

“I realize you could be at the office furthering your business,” Courtney said. “But instead, you’re here doing something that could be more important: engaging people who will step up into your positions in the future. Thank you for that.”


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