Gearing up for the job hunt |

Gearing up for the job hunt

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Colorado Mountain College student services counselor Heather Cutler, right, helps Sarah Livesay on the computer in her office Tuesday afternoon.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Love living in the High Country but hate your job? Feel like your interests and passions could never turn a buck?This month, Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and Summit High School are out to prove that Summit County residents can find fulfillment on the clock. SHS Job Shadow Day and the first-ever CMC Summit Career Week are chock full of opportunities for local students and community members to hone their professional interests and skills.

“A lot of times people come in with really vague interests,” said Heather Cutler, CMC student services counselor. “Some people say, ‘I really love music, but there’s no job for me.’ But you can unravel a whole list of professions that connect to music. Do you like to listen to music? Play music? Teach people about music?”Cutler is partnering with the Colorado Workforce Center to offer a series of free career workshops next week, which are open to community members as well as CMC students. The workshops are designed to give a jump start to those entering the workforce and to provide direction for those looking to make a transition out of their current jobs.The workshop series’ first session includes a computerized survey called the Choices Interest Profiler that can help people narrow down their career interests. Cutler will continue workshops throughout the week, culminating in a session on interviewing skills.

“We’re doing it in February because a lot of our college students are graduating soon, so it’s really timely,” Cutler said.SHS sophomores took a step into the working world Wednesday as they shadowed professionals in Summit County and beyond in their fields of interest. Job Shadow Day is a national program that gives thousands of high school students a close-up look at the workaday world. Summit students spent the day in vet clinics, flight training facilities, restaurants, police departments, childcare centers and dozens of other workplaces.

“It’s such a neat experience for kids,” said Laura Dickinson, SHS career and technical education director. “I’ve had students go on to enroll in internships after job shadows, and some of the internships lead to part-time jobs. Some have gone on to major in those fields in college.”Jimmy Keeling, Megan Barrett and Rudi Turrin spent the day with physicians at Summit Medical Center. The three were dressed in green from head to toe as they observed Dr. Garrett Sullivan and Dr. Peter Janes perform surgery on a broken wrist in the center’s operating room.”I’ve always thought about being a doctor,” Keeling said. “After seeing today how orthopedics goes, I think it’s a really cool area. This helps us know what an average day would be like.”

At SHS, Job Shadow Day goes beyond just a single-day site visit. The experience is woven into the sophomore English curriculum through research papers, interviews with students’ job shadow hosts and other graded writing assignments.”The students who really try to make the most out of the experience really end up reaping rewards,” Dickinson said. Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or

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