For some students, making it to the baseball big leagues is the ultimate goal, but it’s a rare opportunity for most. Junior Achievement (JA) helps students realize that other successful and rewarding careers are achievable, especially when you understand what it takes to get there.
Suncor has supported JA with educational programs that help students in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador explore their potential. On May 4, Suncor team members participated in JA’s World of Choices program. The pilot program brought representatives from a variety of fields to discuss career and educational pathways, and inspire approximately 40 high school students to stay in school until they’ve acquired the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills to follow their chosen career path.
Mike Doyle, team leader Safety, Strategy & Operations Services for Suncor shared his career experiences in the sessions which focused on: innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership, oil and gas, media, health care, construction and trades, and career planning.
“In Newfoundland, when you say Suncor, people think offshore oil and gas. It’s important that we participate in programs like this to engage youth in understanding that oil and gas is much more diverse than that,” says Mike. “These early career discussions promote the importance of further education as it links to our diverse employment opportunities, as well as encourage students to pursue their own career passion,” explains Mike.
Round table discussions at the World of Choices program allowed students to chat with leaders in different fields and gain a better understanding of career options and the education needed. Students were encouraged to make new contacts, exchange ideas with mentors, and consider the steps for career planning.
“I enjoyed speaking with the students, with many appearing to favour engineering due to the offshore atmosphere. In one conversation, a group of students seemed undecided in their career choices, stating it probably wouldn’t be in the oil and gas industry. I asked what their interests were and was told retail sales, health care, teaching, environmentalist, and fire fighter. They were surprised when I explained that all of those occupations or interests exist within Suncor,” said Mike.
“It was nice to see their surprise and hope that one day their passions will be employed at Suncor, adding to the energy we need to make a better world.”
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