Alumnae panelists inform and inspire students about their futures
On November 1, 2018, Harpeth Hall welcomed back 46 alumnae with class years ranging from 1979 to 2016 for our 2018 Upper School Career Day. Alumnae were divided into career categories that were "skill-based" versus based on industry or profession. Categories were defined by questions, including "Do you enjoy helping others?" or "Do you enjoy creating change?" The girls chose to attend two sessions from a total of 14 categories that had three to four alumnae in each session.
"Career Day was such an inspiring experience. I loved being able to sit in front of three confident alumnae, all of whom had different training and education and professions. Yet, they were all extremely passionate about their jobs, and that was inspiring," said Senior Ella Nelson. "I felt empowered to hear women speak, who ten years ago were just like me, and who now are making a difference in the world as determined, confident, and poised leaders."
The sessions helped expose the students to a wide variety of jobs, giving them a better understanding of different and unfamiliar career options in the workforce.
The final session for the juniors and seniors was a Networking Fair with all alumnae panelists. "I enjoyed the Networking Fair very much. The students that may not have had time to speak up in the large group approached me in the Networking Fair. They even brought their friends that did not see me speak on the panel. I had 12 students talk to me at the fair, and it was amazing to hear how I impacted them by what I do and shared," said Ashley Wright Blum '01, Director of Homeless Outreach Services for Park Center.
During this time, the freshmen and sophomores attended a Winterim Panel moderated by Director of Winterim and International Exchange Programs, Jacquie Watlington, and included the following panelists:
- Addie Boston Askew '07—Assistant District Attorney at the Davidson County District Attorney's Office
- Sara Morris Garner '03—Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, DeLozier Cosmetic Surgery Center
- Emy Noel '98—Upper School English Teacher and Winterim Trip Chaperone
- Olivia Caldwell '16—current student at Vanderbilt University
- Rebecca Blair '14—working as a personal assistant for the orthopedic surgeon she interned with during Winterim while applying to medical school.
Career Day inspired these young women and reassured them that the foundations they are establishing at Harpeth Hall will help them open doors to a variety of careers. Freshman Elisabeth Nelson stated, "The alumnae who passionately shared elements of their career with us passed on such extensive knowledge from their various experiences and backgrounds. They taught me the importance of being confident and assertive in the workplace as a woman, showed me the twists and turns a career path might take, and expressed the importance in both enjoying my time in my plaid skirt and looking forward to my time as a member of the workforce and the greater world. I am so glad that Harpeth Hall encourages me not only to grow to the best of my abilities now, but to dream big and go far in the future."
Who better than the alumnae of Harpeth Hall to motivate these girls to use their education and experience to pursue their passions as they grow.