Senior Experience offers career discernment, community service


As part of Walsh’s graduation requirements, students must complete a senior experience project. This allows students to explore possible career paths as well as the adult professional world. The project also includes a week of community service at an assigned location near where the student lives.

The first step is for the student to decide how they will spend the two-week shadowing time. Students are encouraged to participate in activities that are career-oriented to help figure out what they would like to do.

Senior Greg Gebhert said, “I know that I want to do something with engineering, but there are so many options I am not sure what is right for me. And there is not much guidance to help me make a decision.” He hopes to have an opportunity to work alongside someone who will help guide him toward the right path.

Once the students decide what they would like to do, they must find an organization that will take them in and let them shadow. This can be one of the more challenging parts of the process because of how strict some companies’ policies are.

I know that I want to do something with engineering, but there are so many options I am not sure what is right for me.

— Greg Gebhert

Connor McEachen said, “I have had trouble getting into an organization because of the laws that prevent me from being there.” He is pursuing aviation but, due to the high security at airports, he has been unsuccessful.

After the student has found a place and a sponsor, they must fill out required student and sponsor paperwork and report where they are doing their service to Mr. Gary Ribka for approval.

“I ask everyone to please fill out the forms that are sent to them so that the process may go smoothly for all,” Mr. Gary Ribka said.

The next step is to complete the two-week work related experience and the week of service. Depending on which group the senior is assigned to, the activities may be reversed. Throughout this process, it is important to stay organized and focused.

“I look forward to the service opportunity and continuing to help those who need it,” Ben Belmonte said. He went on to say that he is going to the Akron Food Bank and that he has done this kind of service before, so he knows what to expect.

Students have chosen diverse locations for their experiences. Morgan Dutt is going to a tattoo parlor, Gianna Musitano is shadowing an architect, and Carlos Medina is will be at the Football Hall of Fame.

“I am hoping that my time at the tattoo parlor will show me the different techniques and maybe lead to connections for a long-time internship,” said Morgan Dutt. She said that she is interested to learn the American style of the art form, as well.

I have nothing planned in my life past tomorrow.

— Matthew Anthony

The seniors are then required to write a reflection and make a presentation to a faculty member. The paper and interview focus on how the experience reflects the “Graduate at Graduation Profile.”

Jacob Kim, who is doing his experience at the Nestle Factory in Solon, said, “I think that the reflections will help me keep my thoughts together and start to lead me in the right path.”

Senior Experience offers a well-rounded and beneficial opportunity for the seniors to get a taste of what life has to offer.

For some students, such as Matthew Anthony, this project has been more difficult. He said, “I have nothing planned in my life past tomorrow.”