It’s not like it is on TV.
That’s one of the first things the students heard when they arrived at Inova Loudoun Hospital on Wednesday. Twenty-five high school juniors spent their day at the hospital to get a peek at various career fields as part of Loudoun County’s annual Job-for-a-Day program.
The initiative, put on by the Loudoun School-Business Partnership Executive Council, placed 335 students in jobs throughout the county. The goal of the program is to show students what a day in a career that interests them is like.
For Gillian Valli, the experience in Inova’s Birthing Inn solidified her desire to go into the medical field.
“I now know I definitely want to go into nursing,” said Valli, a junior at Freedom High School. “It was so good to see what it’s actually like—not however it looks on TV shows.”
Jay Mangrulkar, a junior at John Champe High School, got to watch the birth of a baby girl. On a typical weekday morning, he’d be in math or science class. “But this was totally different,” he said.
He was considering pursuing a field in cardiology, but after a day with babies only minutes old, he said he was now interested in obstetrics. “Today was great,” he said, just before putting a cap on the head of the little girl he saw born. “I like this field much more than I thought I would.”
Inova Loudoun Hospital took 50 students for the Job-for-a-Day program this year—25 were there Wednesday and another 25 will visit next week.
Stacey Miller, the hospital’s government and community relations liaison, said Inova Loudoun Hospital can provide students with a glimpse of a wide range of career fields, including food service, operations, administration, marketing, as well as medical.
“That’s the magic of the hospital experience,” she said. “It’s like a village.”
Members of the Loudoun School-Business Partnership Executive Council have worked in recent years to expand the program. Miller, who is a member of the executive council, said there was “an outpouring of support from the business community” this year to provide 670 spots for students.
The 335 students who participated in the program is up from a year ago, when fewer than 200 took part. But Miller said there’s a big push on the schools’ side to inform teachers and students about the Job-for-a-Day earlier in the year and encourage more to sign up.
“Plans are already being made to increase awareness and participation for next year,” Miller said. “It’s important that more students know about this. It gives them an opportunity to say, ‘I think I want to be a doctor or go into IT,’ and then go experience what it’s really like.”