John Barsby Secondary School students had an opportunity to prepare for their futures at the Living Professional Library last week.
The networking and information event saw students talking with professionals in fields of interest.
For Grade 10 students Delaney Bandell and Rachel Price, their legal profession inquiries were answered by Greg Phillips, a lawyer with Johnston Franklin Bishop law firm.
Both students’ interest in being called to the bar stems from television shows, such as The Closer and CSI. Their conversation with Phillips was informative and he didn’t sugar-coat anything, they said.
“Law school’s very intimidating,” said Bandell. “Everybody thinks with eight years of schooling and the price, it’s office work and paper work, but he just explained how it’s really simple and you just take it year-by-year. If you’re interested, then it’s not really a job or schooling.”
Price said discussion about finances was realistic.
“You’re not going to be a millionaire in two days,” she said.
Phillips attended the event at the behest of trustee Bill Robinson and said students needn’t fret if they don’t know what career path they will take. He completed a significant portion of a heavy-duty mechanic apprenticeship and said it took a long time for him to figure out his calling.
“You don’t always know what you’re going to be … You can always change your mind. The most important thing is keeping your options open and leaving as many doors open as possible,” Phillips said.
The idea for a living library was born in collaboration with Barsby principal Deb Marshall, Robinson, the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce and the Young Professionals of Nanaimo.
The business community is enthusiastic about supporting the initiative and Robinson said the professional library could go to other schools. Nanaimo District and Dover Bay secondary schools have expressed interest, he said.
“My goal is that some of these business people will connect with a spark in some kid and there will be some mentorship opportunities, hopefully some opportunities for kids to do practicums,” said Robinson.