Professionals from around the area participated in WAA’s Career Day, sharing information about their field and personal tips for success. Business Transition teacher Chris Canone organized the event with assistance from the Y Young Achievers Program.
Ericka Cotton, an independent broadcast and video producer, kicked off the event and explained that the job entails more than just operating a camera, with videographers also writing, creating and talking with people. Opportunities exist online as well as on broadcast.
“Start at the bottom, and work your way up, perhaps at a small television station” she advised.
Emergency medical technician Kristen Davis encouraged the students to find work they enjoy and want to get up and do every morning. A good paycheck is an added bonus.
Joe Brown, an Orlando Fire Department firefighter, encouraged the students to continue their education, and if they like to get the adrenalin going to consider working for a fire department.
“There’s no feeling better than when you save a little kid and her mother says, ‘thank you,’” Brown said.
Family law attorney Denaro Allen, called education the passport to the future and told the students to take it seriously. He told the students that anything is possible.
“Attitude determines altitude, and how far you go depends on how determined you are,” Allen said. “Nothing is easy, if it’s worthwhile.”
Anthony Fothergill, executive chef with DoubleTree, said that you have to start in his field at the bottom and struggle to get what you want. While he emphasized education is important, he said school is the easy part of life.
“Have a plan to make money,” Fothergill said. “Don’t be scared of the future. If you don’t try, you won’t succeed.”
Mike Crotty, owner of a construction firm, advised students to focus on what they are communicating.
Television anchor Stewart Moore told students to “pray first, aim high and stay focused.” He informed them the plans they make today will affect their lives forever.
Business owner Ruben Figueroa informed the students of the need to work hard and the importance of education.
“No one can keep you from what you want to do, except you,” Figueroa said. “It’s about what you do and the effort you put into it. Be passionate about something.”
Johnny Garner, a licensed massage therapist, also owns his own business but also works on the side at a spa in the attraction area.
“Go to school and have a goal,” Garner advised. “The best thing to have is your own way to make money.”
Sales professional Mike Irizarry called sales the foundation of capitalism. He encouraged students to get an education and suggested sales as an economically satisfying career that rewards hard work.
“It’s important to have drive and motivation,” Irizarry said.
Former pro football player and owner of a media production company Shante Tasby discussed his career with students and encouraged them to continue their education. He completed a program at Full Sail, which helped him become a producer.
Kim Morris, an intellectual property attorney, talked about beginning her career as a rap artist but wanted more.
“You can be anything you want to be,” Morris said. “Develop your talents. No one can take your skills away.”