November 5, 2014 celebrated 20 years of connecting kids with the workplace and their futures during Take Our Kids to Work day. As part of the program’s 20th anniversary, The Learning Partnership helped offer student job shadowing opportunities with prominent leaders across the country. The Learning Partnership itself was happy to host Grade 9 student, Philo Ataalla from Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute, who had the opportunity of job shadowing our very own President and CEO, Akela Peoples.
Find out what Philo did on Take Our Kids to Work Day, as he shares with us some insights about his experience.
Philo had a very busy agenda for the day, and unlike most students, spent the day at more than one workplace. Starting the day off bright and early, Philo met up with Akela Peoples at CBC on Front Street to watch her give welcoming remarks to over 100 students participating in CBC’s Take Our Kids to Work day, as well as several parents and volunteers in the audience. Philo loved meeting Matt Galloway, Host of Metro Morning, but even more so, enjoyed the chance of being videotaped for the big screen at one of CBC’s studio edit suites along with 10 other students. Philo said this was the highlight of his day, because not only did the students try their hand at reading a mini-newscast, they were also the floor directors – cueing each student in the recording booth on what to say or do next during their debut newscast appearance.
Philo’s next stop was Queen’s Park, where he met Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of Education, Liz Sandals, for a special photo opportunity before heading to The Learning Partnership’s Head Office in Toronto. At our office, Philo got to meet staff from a variety of departments.
The Learning Partnership (TLP): Before Take Our Kids to Work Day, was there any thought given to what job or career you wanted to get into?
Philo Ataalla: Yes, I was thinking of going into engineering or law, but I’m not sure.
TLP: Did you have any expectations on what Take Our Kids to Work Day would be like?
Philo: I had no idea, and was shocked when I found out how much I was going to be doing.
TLP: What did you learn about the working world?
Philo: I learned that it is quite different from school, but in a way also the same. Similar to group projects at school, people work with their coworkers, but probably more so than at school. In the workplace, I think there are a lot more decisions to make whereas at school, many decisions are made for us. At work, you need to make your own decisions and it requires a lot more effort.
By talking to people in different departments at TLP, I realized that just because I don’t see myself somewhere, it doesn’t mean I can’t be there at some point. I was surprised to find out that everyone I spoke to had no idea that they would be doing what they are doing now – even Akela Peoples, President & CEO, did not know this is where she would be.
TLP: Do you know what you want to do for a career?
Philo: I have been thinking about my career a lot – especially since my older brother has been; he inspired me. However, today made it clearer for me what I want to do.
TLP: Do you know what you DON’T want to do for a career?
Philo: What I do know is that I like to be out and about with a change of environment as opposed to having a routine of an office environment.
TLP: Do you have any advice you would give about Take Our Kids to Work to Grade 9s for next year?
Philo: I’d say Take Our Kids to Work Day actually really helps you. Getting to shadow the “day in the life of” someone is great – even if it just crosses one career path off the list. It helps you narrow down your options to really finding what you want to do.