Career Exploration Activities

unite! is an easy-to-use online tool that connects you and your business or organization to
the future workforce in your community. Go to and click “Join Now” to
enter your company profile and select any of the activities listed below!
Career Coach
1+ hrs/week
Virtual Career Coaches answer student questions about their jobs, offer advice, or otherwise support
students via an online forum. This allows career coaches to volunteer from their desk at work, at home or
when travelling, and allows students access to a network of knowledgeable, supportive adults they might
not otherwise be able to reach.
Career Guest
30-60 minutes
(per class)
Guest speakers address a group of students and/or teachers about their career, training and skills, or
about general topics such as leadership, job hunting or fiscal responsibility. Speakers are encouraged to
bring visual aids and props. The more interactive and hands-on, the better! Sample topics are:
• The work and tasks this job involves and what industries employ this job
• How to prepare and train for the job and how to pursue a career in this industry
• Job Hunting – From applications and resumes to interviewing skills
• Finding success in any job – the do’s and don’ts of surviving the workplace of the 21st Century
Company Tour
(1-2 hours)
Tours allow classes of students and/or teachers to view an organization’s facility and operation and
observe what happens outside of the classroom. Companies hosting a tour are encouraged to interact
with the students about:
• Types of jobs/careers available at the company, including education and pay levels
• Advice for students interested in pursuing a career in the company
• Internship, summer employment or apprenticeships available at the company
Mock or
15-60 minutes
(per interview)
Mock interviews help students develop and practice job interviewing skills. Employees who regularly
interview job applicants interview students, then provide constructive feedback regarding their
interviewing style and how the responded to the questions.
Informational interviews allow a student to explore an occupation and gather information about a
career. Informational interviews help students broaden their vision of career fields, and understand the
connection between school and work. The student prepares a list of questions, and a business person
provides the student with a glimpse of what their career is like, discussing the necessary training and
workplace requirements. The interview can take place in person, by phone or email, or in a group.
Round Table
(4 hours)
Business Round Tables are held to gather information from industry that will directly impact curriculum
being taught in the classroom. Industry experts and teachers sit down in a round table format to discuss
the needs of the industry. Teachers then use these conversations to develop and implement curriculum
that aligns to industry standards.
Job Shadow
(2-8 hours)
Students “shadow” one or more employees at a business site to learn the daily routines and activities of a
particular job. Businesses and employees who host job shadows go about their regular work while
discussing it with the student. Job shadows help students enhance their communication skills, and allow
them to make the connection between academic classroom work and their career goals.
(1-8 hours)
Many courses at the high school level provide competitions for students to test their skills and knowledge
in an academic, career or technical discipline. Judges may provide a level of real world expertise on
student projects, ensure competition rules are followed, and share direct feedback to the students on
their performance.
Career Fair
(2-8 hours)
Career Fairs give students a look at a variety of occupations. Business people can staff a booth or meet
with groups of students to provide information about the careers available at their companies. The more
interactive and hands-on, the better the experience for both the student and employer. Possible topics:
• Advice on how to prepare and then pursue a career in this industry
• Required knowledge and skills needed for a particular job or career
• Major responsibilities for individuals in this occupation.
unite! is an easy-to-use online tool that connects you and your business or organization to
the future workforce in your community. Go to and click on “Join Now” to
enter your company profile and select any of the activities listed below!
Service Learning
(2-15 hours)
Service learning opportunities give students a chance to give back to their communities while performing
meaningful projects at local for-profit and non-profit businesses or government agencies. Many senior
projects, required for graduation, involve service learning projects. These opportunities may be one-time
or ongoing.
(8-24 hours)
Provide professional development opportunities for teachers to observe and work for 1-3 days in the field.
This exposure to current trends in the industry is often a part of revitalizing classroom curriculum.
Site Visit-Teacher
(2-4 hours)
Teachers visit business sites during the summer to learn the daily routines and activities of a company.
Businesses who host site visits conduct a tour of their company and provide opportunities to observe
employees as they go about their regular work. Ideally, a time is established for teachers to have a
questions and answer session after the tour.
(1-15 hours)
Teachers are looking for ongoing opportunities to consult with industry experts about trends in the
industry, including technology and software used, skill alignment, industry credentials, educational
pathways into the field, trends in the industry, and more. This valuable networking opportunity is the
first step in aligning high schools to post-secondary to career fields.
Project Advisor
and Support
(1-15 hours)
Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems
and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper
knowledge of their subject matter. Projects may vary in length. Businesses may support projects by directly
advising students, or by offering donations of materials to complete the projects.
Project Support
24+ hours
Internships provide students with opportunities to experience “hands-on” learning in the area of their
career interests, and apply classroom learning in a real-life environment. In addition to exploring a
particular career pathway, industry, or occupation, students learn workplace readiness and entry-level job
skills, building their portfolio and their professional network. Student’s assignments may include
occupation-related tasks and/or special projects. These experiences may be paid or unpaid, and can vary
in range of hours per week. Students may receive school credit for them.
Summer or
Part-Time Job
(24+ hours)
Employers offer opportunities to experience “hands-on” learning in the area of their career interests and
apply classroom learning in a real-life environment through a part-time or summer job. The experiences
are paid and occur over the summer or after school during the school year.
(1-40 hours)
Participate in a variety of workforce development or education preparatory committees alongside
educators, other business people and representatives from a variety of organizations. Work might include
pathway exploration, serving on an advisory committee for a school, and more.
Rockford Schools
(1-40 hours)
Monthly, hour-long meetings are held at each Rockford High School, and are led by a community chair
and the school’s Academy Coach. Committees may consist of community members, school staff, parents
and students. The teams follow an agenda and provide recommendations, make decisions, identify team
members to continue progress on projects, and in general build the essence of each academy. Some
members may meet separately with staff, or continue communications through emails or phone calls.
Business participants may choose which of the Rockford High Schools to serve, and to which academy
they would like to offer support.