Santa Monica High School held its annual Career Day event this week. Photos by Brennon Dixon

Santa Monica High School students took a glimpse at their future careers Thursday morning during a Career Day event that allowed them an opportunity to connect with hundreds of local professionals.

Event organizers said Career Day is held every year in an effort to motivate and educate students about the careers and local industries they may find themselves interested in so they can make an educated decision on what to do after graduation.

“SMMUSD is expanding its Career Tech Education pathway opportunities to include internships, mentoring and job shadow days in the near future and this is a great event to make connections to people in their fields of interest,” Gail Pinsker said, mentioning the event is held in partnership with the Santa Monica Chamber Education Committee, Samohi PTSA as well as the City of Santa Monica.

The day began with an address from Samohi Principal Antonio Shelton and SMMUSD Superintendent Ben Drati before keynote speaker Blake Pinsker, vice president of Marketing for MVMT watches and accessories, sought to inspire students to seek out what makes them happy in life.

Shortly after the conclusion of the assembly, participating upperclassmen were given the chance to attend three of the 77 panels that were occurring throughout the morning.

Informal in nature, each panel featured two to five career representatives who spoke to a room full of students about a number of topics, including how to get a foot in the door at a respected business. And with representatives from various medical fields, the film industry and a number of other prominent professions, students had a hard time deciding which of the 250 professionals they wanted to hear from.

Despite only being a sophomore, local student Karina Vital participated in the activities as a moderator, meaning she had a front row seat to witness a number of panels throughout the day.

“I feel that Career Day is a perfect opportunity for kids to hear from actual people who are doing the things that ((students) want to in the field that they want to pursue,” Vital said.

“By simply having the ability to hear from people that are doing the jobs, it gives (students) a really good sense of what they’re getting themselves into. And also just gives them a better idea if they actually want to pursue this or if they want to go venture into another path,” Vital added. “I’m really, really excited to do this next year because I know that I have a couple of different career paths that I want to venture into and I can’t wait to hear from the panelists who are going to be here next year.”

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