For the past six years, guidance counselors have planned an entire month of career education. They have been able to bring many interesting professionals into the Career Center to talk to Westhill students about the opportunities they have had and what they have learned from it. Students were able to attend these sessions by themselves or with their class.
“Career Month is an initiative put on by the School Counseling department that is designed to engage students in real-world interactive conversations with career professionals,” Ms. Mitchell, guidance counselor, said.
On March 20, Michael Konstantaras came to discuss his career in dog training.
Konstantaras started off as an insurance salesman and eventually worked his way up to partner at his firm. He then decided he wanted to work in the restaurant industry and opened three restaurants, a bar, and a men’s clothing store. Konstantaras eventually sold his restaurants and explored a different passion of his—animals.
“If you don’t take some swings you’re never gonna get a hit,” Konstantaras said.
So, when Konstantaras turned forty, he decided to become a dog trainer. He went to a special dog training program in Denver to become certified in a specific method of training.
Konstantaras is currently the only dog trainer of his method in Fairfield County. He says he enjoys being his own boss and being in a career in which he can be self-motivated.
“Being an entrepreneur has a lot of benefits. You make your own schedule and you have no limits to [succeed]. You have to be self-motivated and have a good drive. But if you do, it is a great career,” Konstantaras said.
Students were able to learn about a self-made man who worked hard and thrived in all areas of his choice until he was happy.
“It was a great learning experience and it gave us an in-depth look at what an entrepreneur can do when they are self-motivated,” Glen Dombroski (’19) said.
Other professionals who visited were: Robert Velez Jr. for Job Corps Information; Jake Luciana and Brian Margerum for Technological Professionals; David Tovar and Juan Morales for a session on the American Dream; Frank Mastrone for a Broadway career and acting; Nicole Smina and Paola Socci for a panel on preparing for college; Curtis Antrum and Michelle Morales represented Norwalk Community College; and Tim Curry and Bridget Curry discussed public relations and sports marketing.
The tradition of Career Month is intended to go on in upcoming years to educate students on possible career paths.