By noon Wednesday, Laurel Natale still had a long day ahead of her.
As most people were nearing the halfway mark of their workday, hers was really only beginning.
There were boxes to lug to a post-secondary education fair in Mississauga, a booth to be set up and help to be given to prospective students and their parents before her mother Beth Natale would let her clock out at 10 p.m., tired and with new perspective on what Beth does as Brock’s director of Recruitment and Liaison Services.
It was an opportunity Laurel had thanks to Take Our Kids to Work Day, an annual nationwide event meant to give high school students a glimpse of their parents’ career life while reinforcing the importance of staying in school by learning first-hand what skills are needed to succeed in today’s workforce.
Despite having been on campus many times before, Laurel has never had the chance to try on work life here.
“What she hasn’t seen is me in action,” Beth said. “So she gets to see what it’s like hauling boxes to and from an education fair and hear the questions from parents and students that she’ll be asking in three to four years’ time. She’ll get a bird’s eye view of what goes on.”
Laurel was one of 34 Grade 9 students participating in Brock’s edition of Take Our Kids to Work Day.
Students spent the first half of the day learning about the University, getting schooled in health and safety, taking part in icebreakers and getting campus tours before shadowing their parents for the afternoon.
Though Beth said Laurel “has pretty much been Brocked since Day 1” with both her mother and father working at the University – dad Rico Natale is the director of Student Awards and Financial Aid – and having two siblings who attended school here, the day did offer some insight into Laurel’s future.
“It gives more ideas of what you could do,” Laurel said.
Friend Susan Eaglesham also got new perspective on what happens at Brock. Take, for example, that Brock generates much of the energy it uses – a fact that Eaglesham learned during the many morning activities to help students get acquainted with their employer for the day.
“I didn’t know Brock, itself, made 75 per cent of its own energy and had pretty much it’s own grid,” she explained.
Eaglesham was also grateful for some important life lessons provided during the health and safety talk, most notably, how to use a fire extinguisher.
As for her career plans, right now, the Eden High School student has other priorities at the moment.
“I’m just trying to get through Grade 9,” she said.