Utilizing Career Talks to Boost Student Interest and Career Awareness

Tuesday 1:30pm-2:40pm
Share-a-thon Part of Tuesday


Ben Maas, Metropolitan State University


I will talk about the success of this initiative and will be happy to share what I have learned with other people.


Inviting people from a variety of careers into your classroom can not only be a way to boost interest in the topics covered in classes, but can also be used as a way to enhance career pathway awareness of students studying earth science. Metro State University is a majority minority serving institution that focuses on teaching non-traditional students. These factors are what inspired me to explore ways that I could bring a variety of experts from multiple areas of earth science to talk directly to students. As a result, during the current academic year, I have invited 15 experts from a variety of fields in both state and private positions to talk about their day-to-day work and how they got into their career. Students have indicated in one-on-one conversations and in student evaluations that they appreciated learning how they can utilize their degree. An added, unexpected benefit is that students have also indicated that they enjoyed hearing from other experts how the content they are learning in class are vital to that person's career. The success of this initiative has been greater than anticipated and has resulted in students seeing themselves in career paths them might not have otherwise considered.


The target audience is students in 300-level courses that are environmental science majors. This activity is used to help break-up 3-hour lecture blocks that Metro State University uses to allow non-traditional students to more easily take classes while working full-time.

Why It Works

This activity/initiative is effective and worthwhile because it enhances the importance of topics covered in a course and makes connections between the students, university, and potential employers. Furthermore, it requires relatively little effort by the instructor to implement and can be useful in breaking up longer lecture blocks or during career events.