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Exploring Careers at Oakland University Summer Camp

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Exploring Careers at Oakland University Summer Camp

This summer, I’ve been working with Oakland University in Macomb County as a student intern. It’s given me some exciting opportunities, like attending University events and meeting many new people.

As part of my internship, I recently helped work Oakland University’s Career Exploration Camp.

The camp, which is intended for high school students, was a chance to explore multiple career paths before heading to college and deciding on a major. As a former “undecided” major myself, I can say I definitely would’ve loved to go to a camp like this before I began college.

The week-long camp, held in Downtown Mount Clemens at Oakland’s Anton/Frankel Center, spent time exploring different career options within various college majors. This was a great chance to look deeper into majors and find out about different jobs within that major.

The camp explored different places to take your degree, which is exciting because the road down a career path can be filled with the unknown.

I’ll admit, I was a little tired waking up for an 8 a.m. start every morning, but there were a lot of interactive activities to keep the energy moving, and each day there were new instructors speaking, which kept things engaging.

There were some pretty interesting activities on Monday’s Engineering and Computer Science Day, like making a light bulb and solar cell. My personal favorite was the industrial engineering portion that included programming and racing robotic cars.

I was a little nervous for Tuesday – Health and Medical Careers – because I’m pretty squeamish, but it was actually my favorite day because I learned about so many professions in the health field I never knew existed. 

We toured Grosse Pointe Beaumont, and spent the day in small groups going to different stations around the hospital. Seeing the different areas, like the pharmacy, radiology and rehab sections, helped show how many different job opportunities exist in the health profession.

For Wednesday’s Business Day, the activity included working in groups to put together a business model and presenting it to a panel of judges for a case study competition. Students in each group acted as different roles of business professionals, such as a CEO, marketing manager, IT manager and more, based on their interests.

On Thursday, the camp headed to the Macomb County Circuit Court, Sheriff’s Department and Jail for Criminal Justice and Social Work Day. It was fascinating to watch real court proceedings – I never realized how much time goes into a trial! The tour of the jail was also a very eye-opening experience, especially as so many students were interested in the criminal justice field.

The week wrapped up with College Major and Online Tools for Career Exploration Day. This was a chance to learn how to do career exploring at home. There were less hands-on activities this day and more serious Q&A time.

Students had lunch with professionals from their field of interest to ask questions and hear real, on-the-job stories. It was a good wrap-up to a week that shed light on a lot of career opportunities I never knew existed! Even though I couldn’t attend the camp as a “camper,”

I’m really glad my internship allowed me to be a part of this camp – it’s amazing how many things I learned just being there to work.

By Rachel Zynel, contributing writer
Follow Rachel's experience at Oakland University's summer camps in Macomb County on Rachel Z's blog