College and Career Forum Shares New Insight

Photo courtesy of Julia Gold

Kate Ariano ‘18
EE Managing Editor

For the fourth year in a row, the ACE Foundation’s College and Career Readiness for Success Forum was held January 3rd in the auditorium. The event featured not only returning panelists such as Tom Tesoro, Vice President of Human Resources at Standard Motor Products, and moderator Mr. Eric August, but new voices including all the graduated and current students, and even the mother of a graduate and current student.

The knowledge the group shared with the audience ranged from experiences in the school system and lessons already learned in college, to what colleges and later, employers, will be looking for students upon graduation and beyond. As intimidating as thoughts about life that far ahead might be, the eight student panelists were prepared to reassure any worries. The graduates especially were proof that the students in the audience would get through their stressful search for success.

“I went through a lot of phases where I didn’t know what I wanted to do in high school…I ended up really committing to the fact that I was going to go into medicine…but I realized that wasn’t for me” Cristina Catana, Class of 2017, said.

Catana was not the only one who found two distinctly different passions in her years at school. Her freshman year, Gabriela Kwiatkowski, Class of 2018, was completely convinced that her calling was to be a farmer. Little did she know that she would discover love elsewhere in Mock Trial where she could showcase her talents for acting and passion for the law. Kwiatkowski believes that choosing to participate in this club sophomore year was the most important part of her high school experience.
Yet there are still others students who will graduate, grow into adults and discover untapped passions long into their career paths. Tom Tesoro reassured these students that it may take a little longer to find what it is that they love to do, but it will happen. After going to school to become a lawyer, Tesoro never thought he would find himself in the human resources department of a multibillion dollar company.

“I can tell from experience that some of you will know exactly what you want to do with your life…many more of you will find your passion later in life… But still others of you will find your passion has nothing to do with the career you’re in” Tesoro said.
No matter what a student’s passion is, they can be successful in any field they chose. The panelists at the forum emphasized that there are certain attributes to develop in a student’s lifetime that will aid them in achieving success wherever they end up. Tesoro explained that while maintaining teamwork skills and a well-developed ability to communicate, a student’s problem solving skills are critical to “any endeavor” that they take on.

“The reality is, at the end of the day, all of you will be successful if you apply yourself” Tesoro said.

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