GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Career paths can be notoriously winding, and students at Exploits Valley Intermediate found that out in spades on Friday.
Prior to sessions with 20 guest speakers during Career Day, the students learned a lesson from provincial Education Minister Dale Kirby about the need for fortitude in the pursuit of a vocation.
Noting that he came from a small Burin Peninsula town where his parents operated a farm with upwards of 300 sheep, Kirby said his first taste of work life came from tending to the animals.
His first taste of a career adventure came later, however, and was wrought with challenges.
“I went to university and I dropped out of university, twice,” he said. “And, do you know what my job is today? I’m a university professor.
“I failed pretty seriously as a university student, but I went back,” said the minister, who was in Grand Falls-Windsor for a number of events on Friday.
“In your life, you fall down and you get back up and you dust yourself off, and you try again. You don’t always succeed at everything you do, but that’s what life is about.”
Learning from the mistakes is key, he added.
“In math or science or whatever, you make mistakes and you learn from them but careers are like that. It isn’t all straight and no one is going to give you a plan and say, ‘Eh, here’s what you have to do.’ Sometimes you have to make mistakes to learn.”
Principal John Antle urged the students to take heed to the messages being delivered by the 20 guest presenters.
“It’s very, very important that you soak it in because there’s going to be a lot of times when you go through life where you’re going to doubt whether you can do something, and you’ll probably hear those messages in the classroom today.
“You’ll get the message (that) you can do it, and we believe you can be successful,” Antle added. “To be successful, it takes work.”