#33 Your College List: Majors & Careers Transcript



Katie Bauer  00:00

You always have a network. For the most part, every family has a source of income that is in some sort of industry. You have friends, where your parents have friends, ask them what they do, go to the party and say, Hey, what do you do? I would love to learn more about that, or what do you do and and just be curious. We are in the age where we have information 24/7 at our fingertips on just about anything.


Lisa Marker Robbins  00:30

I think we can all agree that the number one reason parents are willing to invest 10s of 1000s If not 100,000, who are more and their child going to college is to set them on a path into adulthood, where they are happily thriving in a career their college experience prepared them for. This is at the heart of the college investment you are preparing to make. My guest Katie Bauer works in a public school system and has the privilege of helping high school students connect with real world experiences, so they can make informed decisions on what the future major and career they’re pursuing is why? Because we both believe that good decisions are informed decisions. What Katie shares will leave you with great ideas for how your team can get experiences to hone in on the right major in future career. I’m Lisa Mark Robbins, and I want to welcome you to College and Career Clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to a great conversation. It’s my pleasure to welcome Katie Bauer to the podcast this week. Katie Bauer is the strategic partnership coordinator for Lakota local schools in the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area. We have had shared students that we both worked with over the years. And I was like, How do I not know Katie, and we need to have her on the podcast because she is doing fantastic work, not only for Lakota schools, but she’s going to have fantastic actionable advice for our listeners, no matter where they live. Katie, welcome to the podcast. Thanks so much for having me. Oh, well, I know you’ve got fantastic insights, I got excited about this, not only because over the years are students that have worked with me on college major and career coaching that are in your district. And I’ve seen the amazing experiences, but I just feel like we are so like minded. Inside my launch Career Clarity course, Module Four is fully devoted to what you’ve made an entire career out of, which is curating experiences for teens. That’s what I’d like to kind of get her on. So tell us a little bit Lakota is like super strategic and targeted with this idea of real world learning. Tell us a little bit about the why behind this. And actually how you landed that Lakota because you don’t have the typical background and the school district of being a teacher first. Absolutely. First of all, it is very important to the district that we help guide our students into one of the four E’s, we have four buckets where our students go into employment, enlistment, enrollment, or entrepreneurship, and we want to do whatever we can to help our students figure out which track they want to go down what’s best for them, what they feel like is most suited for their future path once they leave us and graduate with a purpose. And that’s really our ultimate goal is that when our students graduate from Lakota, they know where they’re headed and what they’re going to do. And we know that not every students path is the same, not every goal is the same. And all the journeys they go on to get wherever they’re headed, are going to vary based on their interests and their aptitudes and all of those kinds of things. So by adding the real world learning component, we are able to add co curricular experiences to what’s going on in the classroom to help them really dive into that exploration process. Right. So you can’t know anything if you don’t know what questions to ask. Or if you’ve never tried something, it’s kind of like baking a cake without a recipe. I know. It might sound like a strange analogy, but if you know I love that roadmap, you don’t know what questions asked, you don’t know what ingredients you need. You don’t know what measuring cups you have to have to make your perfect cake. And so I like to think that our job shadowing and career exploration experiences are really kind of giving you that recipe to get onto the right track. That’s fantastic. Now I know it Lakota you all have freshman buildings, so solo independent freshman buildings, and then you have two high schools too. 10 through 12. At what age do you guys start this work?


Katie Bauer  05:03

Well, my position actually serves the whole district, I serve everybody K 12. But in different capacities. My work is predominantly focused on our junior high to high school age students. But should an elementary school teacher want to do some sort of activity in their classroom that I can help supplement a partnership for? I absolutely do that. Like, as an example, I had a second grade teacher who wanted to do a lesson on small business ownership. And so I hooked her up with one of our business partners to do a session with her students about how do you start a business? And what kinds of things do you have to think about, and they did a whole lesson around entrepreneurship, which I think is absolutely fantastic. So it kind of happens in any grade level. But for our junior high, seventh and eighth grade students, we really kind of are starting to focus on that self exploration, understanding more about themselves. And then freshman year, we start to think about, okay, we know a little bit about ourselves. But how does that relate to the next step, right? Like, how do we connect those dots. And then, as this program has evolved, so I started with the district in 2018. And I did inherit some experiences, which we call internships, which were really, in my opinion, a job shadowing on steroids. For my background in higher ed, I always thought an internship was a semester long, you go to work, and you’re giving the company something while they’re giving you real life experience in that career. And so when I took things over, that was kind of my goal was to change a little bit, but I’ve found along the way, there’s value in all the different kinds of experiences. My goal moving forward, actually, after this year is to stairstep different experiences for our different grade levels. So more in house experiences, like a job fair, career fair, professional learning days at the freshman level. And then sophomores might start with a one day kind of job experience. And then juniors could step into something a little bit more extensive, maybe a week long. And then really look for that kind of mutually beneficial exchange, as seniors, whatever is best fit for whoever at whatever, it really isn’t one size fits all, which I think is fantastic, and also difficult to manage. Sometimes I was gonna say it sounds like a huge job on your end. It is, I send a lot of emails, and I don’t sit still very long, and I’m very highly caffeinated.


Lisa Marker Robbins  07:35

That’s a good thing. Yeah, it’s a lot. But it’s good. Because I feel like anytime we can surface an experience worth where a kid can say that’s for me, or that is not for me, then I’ve I’ve had a big win. And that’s a big get for that perspective of I find that I have to teach that and say that over and over. Because even though kids know going in their parents know going in, I’m looking for alignment, I’m actually looking to rule things and and rule things out and either would be a win. I do find that psychologically, there’s this mindset component of when something moves over to the not aligned, not a win category, that it can feel like a downer. And so helping kids overcome that mindset hurdle of like, No, that’s a win. That’s, that’s still fantastic. Because it’s clarity. Absolutely. Because most of our experiences are opt in on the student side, right? They have to actually initiate an application and submit a resume to me for review and say, Yes, I want to try it, I find that our students are a little bit apprehensive to try something that might be on the fringe of their interest area. Right. So if they think they want to go into business as an example, understanding marketing, could be very beneficial to determining their path or understanding sales, from the perspective of a real estate agent is going to give them a great understanding of relationship management and territories and how to add research. But I think that sometimes they’re just they’re not to the point where they’re connecting the dots on any experience that’s sort of even in the realm of what I might want to do is going to help them like you said, rule it in or rule it out. That would be my biggest ask for our kids, honestly, is to say, Yes, try it, try anything like if medical is not for you, you don’t even try healthcare. Right? You want to convert? Exactly. I want to back up for a second because I have people push back sometimes when I say get your kids on LinkedIn. Now that something that in module two of my course, everybody sets up a LinkedIn page, which then is easily converted actually, you can even download a resume based on what you put into your LinkedIn profile, and then tweak it from there. So you can kill two birds with one stone there but sometimes people like, resume? LinkedIn? Good kids don’t need to be doing that yet. But now, you’re saying your students at Lakota are required to submit a resume?


Katie Bauer  10:08



Lisa Marker Robbins  10:08

Would they be able to submit like their LinkedIn profile as well? Or do you want an actual resume?


Katie Bauer  10:13

if they wanted to? Absolutely. And I will say, we have our cybersecurity program. And we recently took our students in to a visit at US Bank, and the chief information security officer came and spoke with our students, they were able to speak about what they’ve been doing. And at the end of it, he walked around with his phone and said, okay, just add me on LinkedIn, just you just just request to connect with me on LinkedIn, these kids, had they not had their LinkedIn would have had no immediate, there’s no business cards anymore. It’s great. It’s connect with me on LinkedIn and find me on LinkedIn message me there. And that’s where I’m seeing our business folks, really, kind of hovering right there in on LinkedIn. And I think that that is our best way for kids to market themselves. It’s their virtual billboard of their accomplishments. And it can be public, it can be in a safe way, monitoring your social media in a safe way, that can be a good tool for those connections, and finding different companies and organizations and professionals that they would want in their in their network. Right, they’re working on making those connections early, I could not agree with you more, we actually have, and I’m gonna put a link to it in the show notes for everybody. I have a free page, a PDF, that people can download, and just sit down and an hour or so with their kid, it’s literally step by step how to build your LinkedIn profile, because it can seem overwhelming to a kid or even sometimes to their parent, like, how is this different for me, and then I say all the time to the students in my course, or anybody, any of our listeners, follow me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I love it when a kid connects with me. And then I’ll take a peek and I’ll give them like a tip. I’ll say like, Hey, this looks great. Here’s one more way to level it up, that you’re not the first professional individual who is in this space of like curating experiences internships, to say, kids need a resume and a LinkedIn page now 100% I love the idea of it. It’s so funny, we we didn’t know each other before we sat down today to talk, but I just knew we would be aligned well, from the work that I see you doing as a voyeur. My three pillars as I teach kids is exactly what you just said. Mine are know yourself, know careers, know your path. And so I love that you’re starting in junior high. I don’t work with junior hires. But I love that the Lakota district is starting at the junior high level with what does it mean to know myself? How do you guide them? Like what does it mean for when you’re starting that process at the junior high level for someone to know themselves? Some of it starts with some of those like career interests, inventory and like learning styles assessments, but one thing that we did at the junior high level and this was pre COVID. So some of some of the stuff was pre a small pause in my work, which I’m glad is over. Currently, yes. Now, what we did it at Hopewell Junior, as an example was we had a like real life one on one kind of day. So they through their math courses, they did some budget lessons and understanding Money and Taxes and things of that nature. And then the lesson culminated in a fair that we had in the gym, where I brought in different business partners, folks that would be hiring them for their first job. And they had to ask questions like, what do you do in this job? You had representative from Chick fil A, well, what kind of attributes or characteristics do you need to have to get a job at Chick fil A or Kings Island or rally house, the bowling alley or Main Event wherever it was to really help them think about, okay, well, if this place is looking for an individual who can do this even tire oil change place wants me to be interested in mechanical things and playing with things and trying to see how things work. Well, did that meet what I know about myself? Well, no, I don’t really like hands on stuff. I think I’d rather go over here and take orders and the drive thru at the column, prompting them to ask themselves questions. Do I like this? What is this thing about? Do I like to talk to people? Or would I rather be the person that’s maybe behind a desk, doing more data entry, self driven work that is benchmarked by what I can accomplish in a certain amount of time? Or do you get energy from working with others and so it’s just kind of throwing them into some group projects, and also getting them out of their comfort zone. We recently just had our pitch night for our entrepreneurship program called incubator edu. And we actually had a component of that where a few weeks prior we in vited, our junior high folks to do a mini pitch where they had to, in a court in a series of weeks, come up with an idea of bug me, right? They have to have something that bugs them about the world. Is it a phone that would sell charge itself? Or a case that would charge your phone for you? Or is it a service that’s not being provided, and then they came up with a 32nd pitch. And it was fantastic just to see the kids come up with these ideas. And for them to think, Okay, this is what I want to change about the world. And that could actually be reality, if I do X, Y, and Z steps along my path. And so it’s kind of just throwing them into those different experiences. And well, kind of hoping that they learn something wrong.


Lisa Marker Robbins  15:45

Like, you know, just challenging them to think, do I like this? Do I not like this? Is this is this something that says yes, to me, I think to a kid, kind of intuitively, even by junior high knows some of these things about themselves. But giving them experiences to create connections, and context, in terms of forward future thinking, because that frontal lobes not ready to think too far ahead, at that age, but making those connections are key, even if it’s something they already know. For me, my background being in higher education, I am a huge advocate for any post secondary training, whether it’s at an adult education, career technical center, or a community college, regional campus, four year institution, I believe anywhere that is best fit for the kid. But if I can save any parents a year of exploratory studies in tuition, then I’ve done my job, right? Amen. They can say, Yeah, I don’t want to do that. And this is my better path. And I learned that because I did a job shadow or I did this event. And I really learned this about myself. And that’s a huge win for me, for sure. Well, a lot of times people don’t realize, as my population I’m working with are the college bound folks. Although kids do our course as well. And it’s suited for kids who aren’t necessarily college bound, I just tend to be more in that space. But one thing that a lot of families are surprised to learn is at some colleges, some majors, if you wouldn’t apply to that major, when you’re a senior in high school, the doors closed, you just can’t assume that, oh, I’m going to go to that school. And then I’ll just switch my major into that later. It doesn’t work that way. There’s sometimes limited opportunities to do so sometimes the doors wide open, but there are some majors at which the doors firmly closed if you did not apply as a senior in high school. And I remind folks that all the resources to get clarity are available to high school students that are available to college students. It’s not like something magically happens when they enter college that oh, gosh, I can use this resource that’s out there. You’ve got it available to you now. And it’s being intentional, around intentionality. I want to hear a little bit from you. You mentioned that the it’s really the balls in the students court to engage in these opportunities. You’re doing a as a bystander, I can tell you’re doing a fantastic job of finding those strategic partnerships in your community. So the opportunities are there. What advice would you have for not only that kids that are so fortunate to have you in the Lakota district, but our listeners are all over the United States and Canada, and perhaps outside the US? What advice would you have not everybody has a school district that has been so strategic and such a robust offering. So how do we set our families up for success? I would say, to be curious, and to really dive in and figure out in your own little circle and your network and that smaller community where you live, find the people that are willing to say yes, there’s always people that are willing to say yes, for anything, especially if you are asking for something specific, right? Like I am very blessed that my office actually that I’m sitting in right now is at our local Westchester Liberty chamber Alliance. And so community Chambers of Commerce are fantastic assets. And we are very blessed with quota that our relationship with the Chamber is very, very robust, and we collaborate on quite a bit. But again, not every chamber is also as as great and as active as ours. We are very fortunate here but you always have a network. For the most part, every family has a source of income that is in some sort of industry. Yes, that may be the only one but if you have friends or your parents have friends, ask them what they do. Go to the party and say, Hey, what do you do? I would love to learn more about that or what do you do and and just be curious and


Katie Bauer  20:00

We are in the age where we have information 24/7 at our fingertips on just about anything. And our students at Lakota have access to the Naviance system, which does have like Roadtrip Nation built in, which is an opportunity where they can research jobs, and they can watch videos. But there’s just about resources and videos and information on almost any industry out there. It’s broad, it’s so bright, you say I want to go into business. Well, what does that even mean? Like, do you even know what that what? What does that even mean? And so being able to dive in and say, Well, I like to work with numbers, okay, finance might be the way to go. Or I like thinking about how things are made. Okay? Well, engineering, or manufacturing might be great. You don’t know what you don’t know. And until you’re willing to say, I’m curious about this, or I like this about myself, or this is what I’m passionate about. I’d love to turn it into a career. Like recently, I did some interviews with one of our business partners spot on productions, and they’re a video production company. It was so fantastic to hear these students talk about their interest in filmmaking. And I mean, we interviewed, I don’t know, six, eight kids. And that might not seem like a whole lot out of the whole district. because not everybody’s willing to say yes. And not everybody is willing to opt in and take a chance on learning something new. But when you find a student who was like, oh, yeah, well, I researched this editing software. And I tried this one, and I didn’t like it as much. And this one I filmed on my phone, and I’m gonna go to this theater camp over the summer. It is just amazing. And it is so cool to watch our industry partners, be so impressed by our kids that have this innate curiosity about their industry that they’re passionate about. So like, if you think you like working with people, and you might want to go into sales, walking into a real estate office and saying, I want to learn from you. Who’s gonna say no to that. I would say yes, internships are a bigger ask, right. But job shadows, I find that people who are passionate about their own job, they want to talk about their field, their career. One idea I had as you were talking, because you’ve got such a fantastic list of internships on your site, which we’ll link to, so that your Lakota families can easily find it. But as I said, we’ve got listeners all over the place, I think by even going to your Lakota online.com, forward slash internships, it might jog the minds of our listeners who don’t have such a resource in their own community. Like it might empower them to do the ask, because you’re really giving them ideas on that list by the strategic partnerships that you have. You’re working every day to collaborate. So, Katie, thank you for sharing time with us today. You’re active on Twitter. Is that right? Yep. At Lakota real world, so we’ll link to that as well. So even if you’re not blessed to have a Katy or this type of opportunity in your own district listeners, Katie’s strategic partnerships will empower you and give you ideas on what you can do to be curating experiences for your own kid. So Thanks, Katie. You’re very welcome. Thank you again.


Lisa Marker Robbins  23:35

I wish more school districts were as intentional as Lakota when it comes to getting their students real world learning. When students get up close and personal with careers it’s one way that helps them correctly identify best fit future college majors and careers. My weekly college bound conversation assignment for your family is a special invitation to join me in my upcoming complimentary masterclass four common mistakes to avoid when choosing a college major. In our time together, I’ll identify the four mistakes, explain why they are risky at best, and share the framework for choosing a college major that not only sticks, but will save your student time and college and parents a lot of money. Head of the show notes to get the registration link or visit flourish coaching co.com where we will have more information to register. This is a limited opportunity, only available in the first half of September 2022. And it’s the final time I offer it this year. If you missed it because you’re listening at a later date. I hope you’ll join us next time. I know you’re all sharing the podcast and the floors community because our weekly email newsletter subscription list doubled in just the last three months. This community of 1000s is getting motivated, clear and confident And together are all better when they do it together. If you know of someone who needs us too, sharing following the podcast rating and reviewing helps us resource more students to launch into a successful future. Thank you as always, for not only listening, but curating important work for your family at home.