Virtual “Talent Tours”:
A Pivot for MCQMM Career and College Readiness Activities
Without a face-to-face event for MCQMM 2020, we’ve found a new and different way to present career and college readiness activities to students in our 11-county area!
A growing library of Talent Tour videos feature employers in all five industry sectors: advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, construction, health care, and information technology. Each video presents 2-3 high demand jobs in that industry, highlighting elements like:
- Average day
- Necessary training
- Work schedule
- Salary and benefits
An accompanying career exploration lesson plan rounds out the experience for students!
Select a "Talent Tour" to get started!
Talent Tour:Star of the West MillingLesson Materials:The Lesson This guided lesson helps educators assist students in: expanding their knowledge of career opportunities; developing their own metacognition regarding personal strengths, aptitudes, and desires in...
(Updates to the 2021 event schedule will be posted when available.)
Your students should be ready for a very busy day, packed full of fun and engaging activities.
No matter where they are in their “quest” toward a career, students will find this innovative event a great opportunity to expand their knowledge of options for the future.
MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan is NOT a job fair. It is a career exploration event on steroids, designed to spark your students’ curiosity and introduce them to many of today’s most in-demand occupations in Middle Michigan and across the state.
The employers your students meet at MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan are volunteering their time and are eager to share what skills are needed to succeed and how to get them. This is an incredible opportunity for them to interact with young people in a new and creative way.
MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan will showcase occupations in five industry sectors:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Health Sciences
- Information Technology
Each industry sector will feature a variety of in-demand, rewarding jobs that have a talent shortage today — and where it is anticipated there will be even great demand in the future. Students will visit all sectors during their visit.
We encourage schools to work with students prior to the event so that each is prepared to make the best of the event by determining their preferred career pathways and “must see” jobs.
Students will participate in one of four 90-minute sessions. Each of these sessions will be split into four blocks, giving students the opportunity to visit each sector (note that Information Technology is included in EACH sector). This does not include time to check-in your school in advance, or depart the venue.
Students should follow their school’s dress code. For this event, we strongly recommend comfortable, closed-toe shoes and long pants. Please leave dangling jewelry, sandals, flip flops, shorts, dresses at home. Backpacks are not allowed – they should remain at school or on the bus. If a student does not want to wear a coat inside, it should also stay on the bus.
All students will be subject to their school’s student code of conduct. Once inside, they will not be allowed to leave the building until they depart for the return trip to school. (In the event of an emergency, volunteers will instruct students where to go.) Fighting, foul language and other disrespectful behavior toward anyone will not be tolerated at any time. There is no smoking or vaping allowed in the building. Volunteers will lead students from one industry sector to the next. Security officers and law enforcement will be present throughout the event to assure all rules are obeyed.
Lanyards and Name Tags
During the week before the event, registered schools will receive lanyards and blank name tags for distribution to students, teachers, and chaperones. They must wear them at all times during the event. We recommend they are handed out on the bus ride to SVSU. A limited supply of extra lanyards will be available at the school check-in desk the day of the event, if necessary.
The lanyards are color coded, which identifies the industry sector starting point (students will meet in the color-coded staging area at the front of the building). They will be expected to stay closely with their group until the doors open to start the event.
No food will be sold at MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan so, depending on what session your school is attending, please eat breakfast or lunch beforehand. Leave any uneaten food on the bus. Students will receive a granola bar and bottled water at check-in and may refill at water fountains throughout SVSU Ryder Center.
Traveling to the Event
Each middle/high school is responsible for transporting students. Please plan to arrive 20-25 minutes before the start of your assigned session, if possible. In the event a bus arrives in the middle of a session, students will be quickly sent to the industry sector where they are scheduled to be at that time.
If transportation costs are a detriment for attending, contact your Intermediate School District to discuss financial support, if available.
School Bus Drop-Off Location
Upon arrival at SVSU Ryder Center, volunteers and signage will direct the buses where to go for unloading, loading, and parking.
Welcome and Check-In
Volunteers will greet each group of students on their bus at the drop-off location. Once they unload, students will follow the volunteer to the school check-in and student staging area inside the building. A school chaperone should check in at the registration table, and groups will be directed to the color-coded holding area corresponding with your lanyards. All students from the same school will have the same color lanyard. They are required to stay together during their visit. We ask chaperones to help keep students together in the staging area. Volunteers will be holding up colored pool noodles, corresponding to each industry sector. Students and chaperones should gather near them once their group is checked in.
Men’s and women’s restrooms are located throughout the building. Students will be able to use them at any time.
What’s Allowed Inside
No weapons of any kind are allowed in the facility. Law enforcement officers will be on hand. Outside backpacks or knapsacks also are not allowed.
Photography and Videotaping
Students are welcome to use their personal cell phones to take pictures and video at the event to share. We will have professional photographers/videographers on hand to capture sights and sounds from the event, which we will share with schools afterward.
Mother Nature will NOT cancel MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan, although we recognize school bus transportation may not be available if a school district cancels classes that day. Please check Facebook at micareerquest middle michigan for additional information in the event of inclement weather.
What To Expect Inside
Interactive, Hands-On Displays
Students will not be standing around at this event. The hands-on nature invites participation. Exhibitors will highlight their occupations through engaging, interactive demonstrations and activities. Students may be building something, testing a product, driving a simulator, conducting surgery or exploring a new world.
Enthusiastic, Excited People
A broad range of working professionals have volunteered their time to participate. They love their jobs and look forward to meeting students and sharing the skills, education and other important information needed to succeed.
One of the best ways to learn about a job is to ask someone who does it plenty of questions. The volunteers in the exhibits are anxious to share information about what they do. They love their jobs and like to talk about them.
Let your students devise meaningful questions on their own. However, if they hit a snag, use this list below as a means to help them out:
- When did you decide to pursue a career in this field?
- What other jobs did you consider?
- What skills and education are required for your current position?
- What do you like most about your job? Least?
- Describe a typical day on the job.
- What personal qualities or abilities are important to being successful in this job?
- Do you work alone or on a team most often?
- What can cause stress on this job?
- What is your perception of the job outlook for this career field?
- What are some surprises you’ve had in this job?
- Were you employed in another profession before taking this job? If so, why did you change?
- What kind of training do companies like yours provide incoming employees? What skills are you expected to have beforehand?
- What advice would you give someone considering this same career?
Rotating Through Industry Sectors
You and your students will be spending less than a half hour in each industry sector, with a few minutes in between to gather and move on to the next one. Music will be played overhead indicating it is time to move to the next sector. Event volunteers will help direct students to the next sector. After the last sector, they will head to the back exit area.
Spend Time Wisely
Students are required to visit all sectors. With so much to see and do, they may not have the chance to visit each exhibitor. They will see so much that grabs their attention. To make sure they see the occupations most important to them and their future career, prepare them in advance. Please encourage them to use their time wisely.
We encourage you and your students to share your experiences at MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan with friends, family and other via social media using #bestofquest.
We expect local media to report on MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan. If a television or newspaper reporter or photographer approaches you or your students, we encourage you to talk to them about the event or have your picture taken. Please note, news media typically do not need a student’s approval to be included in photographs and video footage used to cover a new event in a public place such as this. Regardless, all students attending should have a signed waiver at their school.
Everyone’s safety is a top priority at MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement, security, and event volunteers will quickly direct school chaperones and students on what to do.
Wrapping Up the Visit
Bus Loading Zone
To make your departure as smooth as possible, volunteers will direct students to the exit doors. The departure process may take 15 minutes, given the number of buses that will be leaving the venue at the end of each session. Please check to make sure all students are on board before departing for the return trip to school.
As students leave the venue, they will be asked to complete a brief online survey within 24 hours after the event. The online survey address is on the back of their lanyards. The information gathered will be strictly used for enhancing future events and not shared with anyone.
On-Site Student Interviews
At the end of their session, students and their chaperones may be asked by event videographers to briefly comment about MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan. The sound bites will be packaged in a promotional video to market next year’s event. Participation is voluntary.
Post-Event Chaperone Surveys
A more detailed post-event survey will be emailed to the teachers/chaperones listed for each school. Like student feedback, yours is very important to make MiCareerQuest Middle Michigan better each year.