Learning by doing. For many students, it’s the most effective way of visualizing a path from the classroom to college or career.

Whether it’s building model trucks at Daimler, resuscitating virtual patients at Kaiser Permanente or drafting apparel designs at the adidas maker lab, hands-on activities enable young people to tap into their creativity and see the value of teamwork.

That’s the kind of thinking behind our Career Days and all of our career-exploration opportunities.

Thanks to employer partners in design, health care, manufacturing and more, April was positively bursting with more than a dozen Career Days that pulled in about 250 students. Employers take students behind the scenes and introduce them to caring adults who describe their career paths (that are rarely as linear as you’d think).

These visits offer a combination of fun and education, and the insights are immediate:

“I learned so many little things about health care professions that you can only learn from someone who actually has this job,” one student said after visiting Kaiser Permanente’s Simulation Lab.

“I worked on a team and I learned I want to work at Daimler. (I’m) going to apply for an internship,” another student said after the Daimler Career Day last week.

Career Days with Design Week Portland (April 17-20) were a big draw as Wieden+Kennedy, Ziba, adidas and Instrument all opened their doors. Other employer partners in April included Legacy Health, Under Armour, Wells Fargo and Oregon Humane Society.

PWA will facilitate about 40 Career Days this school year, all with a goal of helping our young people picture themselves as adults with interesting, challenging jobs.

Want to join us in that effort? Find out how to host a Career Day or contact us for more information.

As always, thank you to the employers and educators who make this work possible.

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