Cardozo High School students explore options at career fair

Photo by Ethan Marshall

Benjamin N. Cardozo High School held its fifth annual career fair Thursday, April 27, in the school’s gymnasium. Among the many organizations on hand to educate and recruit students were the offices of State Senator John Liu and Assemblymember Edward Braunstein, the NYPD, the FDNY, the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy and many more.

According to Cardozo High School teacher and one of the event organizers, Alexa Gutterman, the turnout at this year’s career fair was much higher among students and organizations compared to last year. The 2022 career fair was the first to be held at the school since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said more than 45 different organizations were represented at this year’s career fair.

Photo by Ethan Marshall

“We’re really trying to get people to come from all different professions and industries for the kids,” Gutterman said. “[The kids] can see what different paths they can take post-high school. Whether it’s going to four-year colleges, two-year colleges, military, trade schools or vocational schools, we try to get something for everybody so that they can really see their options.”

For the students at Cardozo High School, this career fair grants them with a tremendous opportunity to get their foot in the door when it comes to pursuing their desired careers. They have the chance to form connections with certain organizations on hand and can apply for internships for some of them.

Cardozo High School Principal Meagan Colby views an event like this as being essential for students as they look to find what careers or secondary careers may interest them. Getting firsthand information from those who already work in the various fields represented at the career fair can help to provide much more insight for the students than just reading about it.

“There’s a huge community relations aspect of it too,” Colby said. “A lot of these are local businesses. A number of the people sitting at these tables are alumni.”

According to Cardozo High School Assistant Principal Beth Kierez, each of the nearly 50 booths represented two careers. Nearly 1,000 students, including just about every junior and senior at the school, attended the event.

“This event started really small,” Kierez said. “But the goal really is to find the gamut of how many different careers you can find for any student. At the end of the day, if they walk away happy and they feel like they are empowered, I think that’s all that matters.”

Photo by Ethan Marshall

For PTA member Patricia Levy, who has two kids attending Cardozo High School, she believes it provides a great outlet for the students to find out more about their desired careers while also helping them to gather more information when it comes to making career choices. She was also very happy to see such a high turnout among the students. Levy believes that exposing the kids to this gives them more tools and information they may need to make a decision.

Many of the students at Cardozo High School look forward to this event, as they look forward to getting their first jobs and get insight into the fields they want to work in. According to two students at the event, they view it as being very important for underclassmen as well. Those who are unsure of what kind of careers they may want to pursue may find one that fits them at this event. For seniors, this event presents a great opportunity to get experience in their desired fields through internships.

According to Andrew Gutterman of the Response Companies, an event like this is very important for the organization. Gutterman is an executive recruiter who focuses on industries with labor shortages. These students looking for work could potentially help to solve that issue while gaining valuable experience.

“Being able to talk to the kids who are going to school to possibly learn how to do these jobs is very important,” Gutterman said. “Some kids are super, super interested and have great questions and want to know stuff.”