How I Found My Post-Graduation Way

CRD alumna Jamie Dorsey Jamie Dorsey is a Long Reach High School class of 2006 alumna who started working for a local community bank two weeks prior to graduation. Dorsey started her career as a teller and quickly grew into a sales role and management. Here Dorsey blogs about how participating in the Career Research And Development Academy helped her get #LifeReady and her first job.

Once a student reaches high school, the big question is: What are you doing after graduation? Are you going to college? What college? I always knew that I wanted to do something in an office or financial services, but honestly I didn’t know what I wanted to do or how I was going to achieve this goal.

I had a friend who was taking the Career Research And Development Academy (CRD) our sophomore year, and I would often meet her before or after class. During these interactions I got to know the CRD teacher and learn about the CRD program. My friend and the teacher encouraged me to take CRD to assist me in deciding on what I wanted to do post-graduation. I immediately decided to take CRD and was so very happy and thankful I did.

CRD gave me more than just a credit toward my high school diploma. CRD taught me professionalism, how to dress appropriately for an interview or a job, how to write a resume and cover letter, and introduced me to several different industries by having guest speakers present and talk with the class. CRD also taught life skills: how to balance a checkbook, and how to track and manage personal expenses, household expenses, car payments, rates and much more. CRD gave students the opportunities to complete a work study program for the CRD III class. I took the opportunity from a self-sourced lead to complete a paid internship at a local insurance agent’s office. The on-the-job training allowed me to apply the skills I learned in CRD and apply it to my internship position.

CRD provided mock interviews with career professionals in different industries. This was huge to any student. We learned about various industries, and found industries we didn’t think about that would interest us, and more. As you could guess I was paired with a manager of a bank. This initial CRD interview opened up the opportunity for me to officially apply to an entry level position within a banking organization. I was excited, nervous and wanted this more than anything.

As I was sitting in the lobby for my first professional interview, I recall thinking back to all that I learned in CRD and making sure I applied it in this interview. Afterwards I remember leaving and thinking, “Wow that went really, really well. I am so glad I had CRD to teach and guide me in what I would face in the real world.”

I GOT THE JOB!!!!

In about two years with the company, I grew to a customer service sales position and then quickly into management. I was able to always refer back to my CRD class and apply it to advancing my career and my management skills.

While working full time, I went back to school to acquire my bachelor’s degree in business management. It wasn’t easy, but CRD gave me the tools, training and knowledge to know what I needed to figure out, what I wanted to do and how to balance a career while obtaining a degree. I quickly went from a high school student to a professional, networking with individuals twice my age.

I recommend CRD to any and all students as a foundation to assist them in getting direction, learning more about themselves, as well as getting out in the community to meet professionals.

I now volunteer mentoring Howard County CRD students. I share my story to encourage them to never give up, and to use CRD as a foundation and a tool to help them decide what they want to do post-high school graduation. CRD can help students obtain jobs for work study and explore college opportunities, and more.

CRD is one career academy in HCPSS’ Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. Dorsey’s guest blog is part of HCPSS’ participation in celebrating CTE Month®, this February.