First formal Career Day highlighted by alumni, guest speakers

First formal Career Day highlighted by alumni, guest speakers

They were asked to return to their alma mater and they did. Parents and friends came as well. Some are well known in the Memphis community – Kevin Kane, Tom Bowen, Harold Graeter, Jim Strickland. Some are young graduates just making their way in the business world – Paul Oliver, Patrick Niedzwiedz, Aaron Lamey. From pilots to doctors to accountants to salesmen to bankers to architects to priests to presidents to entrepreneurs – they all came to share their stories with the 870 young men attending Christian Brothers High School.


Nearly four dozen speakers including 39 CBHS alumni, along with other special guests, participated in the March 28 school-wide CBHS Career Day, sponsored by the CBHS Alumni Association and DeLaSalle Scholars program. Alumni and other guest speakers shared their expertise and life experiences with the student body during the event which featured multiple small-group speaker sessions, a guest reception, and a speaker breakfast prepared by the CBHS Culinary Club.


This was the first formal Career Day for Christian Brothers High School and it was important for many reasons, according to Janet Hill, CBHS Director of Alumni Relations. “The most obvious reason is that it allows students to gain a better understanding of the different career choices available to them. The students also benefit from the life experiences of our speakers and the advice they offer based on what has or has not worked for them along their career paths.”


It also allows alumni and other guests to visit our campus and engage with our students in a meaningful way, strengthens the bonds of Brothers' Boys by allowing our alumni to help their younger Brothers and future co-workers, helps develop a database and network of alumni for future speaking engagements, career opportunities, and other outreach efforts, and provides networking opportunities for students who identify potential job-shadowing and internship partners.


“Not only was an important day for the boys, and they had a great experience, it was also an important day for the school as we welcomed alumni, parents, and friends of CBHS to campus,” said CBHS principal Chris Fay.


The Career Day speakers were chosen and invited in response to the results of student survey designed by guidance counselor Cindy McRae and members of the De La Salle Scholars program. Students were also polled to create a list of suggested topics or questions which many students posed throughout the morning.


Common questions were: How did you get your ‘”foot in the door”? What do you love about your job? What did you study in high school and college? What do you during your typical work day? What is the most difficult thing about your job? What other opportunities has your job opened up for you?

“For future Career Day events we hope to engage more of our out-of-town speakers through our Distance Learning Center (DLC),” said Hill. “This year through the DLC, our students were able to speak with a bio-ethicist from Vanderbilt University. We also plan to involve more of our younger alumni through the DLC for other events such as College Info Sessions, where recent graduates present information on their college choices and experiences.”


“We were delighted to have so many of our wonderful alumni interacting with our students in such a meaningful way,” said Hill. “We were also thrilled to welcome our non-alumni speakers – friends of CBHS.”


Professions represented included: Accounting, Anesthesiology, Architecture, Aviation, Bio-Ethics, Banking, Business, College Athletics, Computer Technology, Construction, Cyber Security, Dentistry, Digital Media, Education, Engineering, Entrepreneurialism, Finance, Government, Graphic Design, Insurance, Journalism, Law, Law Enforcement, Marketing, Medicine, Music, Pharmacy, Photojournalism, Physical Therapy, Professional Development, Public Administration, Physician, Religion, Safety, Sales, and Veterinary Medicine.


Participating speakers included (1st row, from left)  Michael Donahue ’69, Larry Cervetti ‘82, Hank Pellegrin ‘82, Patrick Niedzwiedz ‘06, John “Buz” Sorce ‘77, Scott Fleming ‘76, Chris Kelly ‘92, Matt McGarry ‘92, Bip Cardosi ‘85, Danny Johnson ‘80, Daniel Turner ‘99, Br. Joel McGraw ’63; (2nd row) Jim Richens ‘54, Nick Chantara, Mike Kelly ‘84, Tom Bowen, Curt Pierce, Whit Wills,DDS ‘81,  Kenny Myers ‘80, Gary Kimzey, M.D. ‘69 , Jason Volpe 06, Bobby Svoboda ‘74, Aaron Lamey ‘04, Harold Graeter ‘80, David Smith; (Back row) Kevin Kane ‘74, Jack Borg ‘48, Taylor Berger ‘98, Anthony Perry,  Jeremy Baker, Msgr. John McArthur ‘66, Rev. John Burrus ‘99, Vince Robinson ‘71, Tim Moran ‘82, Drew Oliver ‘09, Victor Buchholz, Matt Garibaldi ‘99, Bob Orians ‘74, Mike Shearin ‘88, Jonathan Lyons ‘93, Clayton Templeton ‘05, Bill Walsh, M.D. ‘75, Bart Thomas ‘97, Scott Adelman, M.D. ‘99, Thomas Slattery, DVM ‘00, and Jim Strickland ‘82. (Not pictured: Ellen Carpenter, M.D.)