Career Exploration at Prodell

Students in Ms. Katie Mellas’ 7th and 8th grade class thumbnail250512
Students in Ms. Katie Mellas’ 7th and 8th grade class thumbnail250513
Students in Ms. Katie Mellas’ 7th and 8th grade class thumbnail250514
Students in Ms. Katie Mellas’ 7th and 8th grade class thumbnail250515

Students in Ms. Katie Mellas’ 7th and 8th grade class at Albert G. Prodell Middle School recently took the online surveys, “What Kind of Student Are You?”, “What’s Your Learning Style?” and “Which Study Habits Can You Improve?” These self-assessments help students discover what they’re good at and where they may have room for improvement. Students also took a personality test called “16 Personalities.” This Myers-Briggs test uses scientifically based insights to categorize personalities into 16 possible types and identify common behaviors. The goal is to encourage students to further explore and understand their own personality, including their likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, so that they can pursue educational and career goals that bring them long-term satisfaction.

Community members retired Air Force major and current Suffolk County Police Aviation Officer Phey Musselman; Merchant Mariners Chief Mate Matt Kirby and First Mate Skye Miller; farmer and local business owner Marianne Bakewicz of Bakewicz Farm in Wading River; and licensed practical nurse Grace Swarez visited the class to share about their careers with the students. They heard about a day in the life of each of these professions as well as asked questions: What is the most challenging aspect of your career? What would I have to do to work in this profession? What do you wish you knew (but didn’t) when you first thought about making this your career? What advice do you have for someone who is interested in the same career?

When Chief Mate Kirby was asked if it was scary driving oil tankers in the Gulf of Mexico, he said, “It’s scary not being able to control the other vessels around you. A saying that’s always stuck with me is ‘You can’t get in trouble fast if you’re going slow.’”

“You’re not stuck in any career,” Ms. Musselman advised. “If you want to do something, you can do it, and if you want to change what you are doing, you can do that too! I was shy and so quiet in school. My family thought I was crazy when I said I was going to join the Air Force, but I did it anyway. I was the only girl, but I did it anyway. I was scared but I did it anyway.”

Ms. Bakewicz greeted the students with their own pumpkins and talked with students about life on the farm. She spoke of the history of the farm dating back to 1908 and the tireless work and fight that it took for her and her son and his wife to buy the land which was slated to be a housing development. She shared that the land is now protected as farmland and will never be built on. When asked what is the best part of being a farmer, Ms. Bakewicz said, “Sunrise, sunset, the animals, really the beauty of it all and, most importantly, being able to grow ‘no spray’ food for the community and work with my family.”

Date Added: 10/16/2023