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Students Utilize 'Career Success' VIA, Expo  
Kari Cottingim
Staff Writer

Motivational speaker Caroline Dowd-Higgins opened the “Career Success” VIA with valuable information about job opportunities based on her past and present careers. Following her  presentation, students could speak with professionals from a variety of careers.

Students in the audience reacted well to Dowd-Higgins' positive voice and messages. She had a motherly character as she called participating students "my dear" and "darling." While these are not very businesslike terms, students responded positively. "She was very strong in her presence so students took her seriously," said Brittany Lakey. She gave advice on subjects such as what to wear to interviews, using appropriate manners, and how to shake hands, gaining credibility for these aspects as she demonstrated them well in her presentation.

Some of Dowd-Higgins' best advice for Manchester students was the positive aspects of obtaining extra skills with a liberal arts degree. "I loved Caroline Dowd-Higgins' speech about the benefits of a liberal arts education," said Hannah Schutter. "It made me very confident that I will be able to hold many different careers upon graduation." Dowd-Higgins has experienced firsthand the need for these skills during an abrupt career change.

Dowd- Higgins followed her dream career of being an opera singer into Europe, loving her work until Europe's economy brought it to a halt and she had to make sudden life changes. She started to refocus on all of her skills and what she liked to do in order to decide what step she should take next. Dowd-Higgins now pours her talents into her many occupations. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post, a career and professional development coach at Indiana University, she hosts her own weekly radio broadcast, she is a public speaker, and she is the author of the book "This is not the Career I Ordered." You can find more information about Dowd-Higgins and her many activities on her website http://carolinedowdhiggins.com.

When Dowd-Higgins' presentation was finished, the students were invited to attend a career exhibit where they could discuss job opportunities with business men and women who work in them. "I thought it was cluttered, but beneficial" Lakey said. "I felt comfortable asking the people questions."

Dowd-Higgins was available at the career exhibit to discuss her career paths with students and answer their questions. She was just as energetic at her station as she was on stage. Giving  her advice with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. She likes her job because she likes helping people. "I love it when someone finds confidence" Dowd-Higgins said.

First-year students had the task of conversing with a minimum of three people about their careers. They could visit a station based on their interests in a future career or curiosity about a position they were matched with on a career-interest survey they filled out before attending the event. 

The career survey had a variety of topics that ranged from music to science and to the military. The student rated each topic according to their interest in it and the survey came up with the best careers it could find in its system for that student according to their interests. "I thought they were accurate," said Lacy Emery. "They're definitely something to look into."



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