“We need to move beyond the idea that girls can be leaders and create the expectation that they should be leaders.” – Condoleeza Rice
As up and coming leaders, Dominican students, led by the professional women around them, will eventually take the reins and lead the next generations.
At this year’s annual Career Day, alumnae and other guest speakers showed students how women in the workplace get the job done.
Dominican alumnae showcased many occupations, aiding students in deciphering their career paths. On Mar. 27, the Counseling Department hosted 42 professional women, including 37 Dominican alumnae, to inspire and embolden the up and comers of the future.
Each speaker spent her time sharing both knowledge and advice with students, giving them insight into the highly competitive and exciting job market. Speakers this year ranged from a designer to a death investigator and showed the broad assortment of opportunities open to young Dominicans.
While Career Day this year showed a diversity of career paths, it also addressed the reality of a primarily male workforce. Many speakers acknowledged that they’ve overcome obstacles encountered in the male-dominated career paths they have chosen.
Mrs. Shelley Mateu (’92), who works as a pilot at Southwest Airlines, made it very clear that success is earned rather than given.
“In my line of work, sometimes I step into meetings or conventions made up of rooms of only men,” said Mrs. Mateu. “I think if anything, it’s made me realize that as a woman, I may have to work harder. At the same time, I truly earn all of my accomplishments.”
As a pilot for Southwest, Mrs. Mateu travels all over the country, safely getting passengers from place to place. Every day, her pilot duties jetted her from New Orleans to Washington as well as to countries like Italy and Australia.
For the past two decades, Dominican’s Counseling Department has sponsored Career Day to bring successful, empowered professionals to the student audience. This year, Career Day served as a sort of homecoming for both recent graduates and decade-long alumnae, as well.
Ms. Elise Glueck (’14), an accessory designer and entrepreneur, came back to Dominican to share her experiences as a young alumna in a fast-paced world.
“It was really important to me that I come back and share my experience with current students,” said Ms. Glueck. “Even though I’m fresh out of college, I wanted to speak at Career Day to show students that Dominican women can do anything they set their mind to, whatever that may be.”
Ms. Glueck graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design last May where she first discovered her love for accessory design. She currently lives in New Orleans, designing both her own creations and beginning work as an interior designer around the city.
Year after year, Career Day influences Dominican students’ career choices, either reinforcing their prior aspirations or turning them onto a completely unexpected path. For senior Laynie Tierney, this year’s Career Day did just that.
“This year’s Career Day affected me like none before,” said Tierney. “As I was watching the civil engineer talk about her job, I felt like I could see myself doing that. I had found my dream job.”
Before Career Day, Tierney had her heart set on becoming an architectural student at the University of Southern Mississippi. However, after seeing Mrs. Emma Hensley Taylor, E.I. (’12) speak about her work in the civil engineering field, Tierney completely changed her path. After her experience, she has not only changed her major, but also her choice of college. Because of Career Day, Tierney now plans on attending the University of New Orleans in the fall to study civil engineering.
Dominican’s 2019 Career Day served as both a guiding light for current students and welcome to successful professionals, alumnae and non-alumnae alike. While informing the next generation of Dominicans, it also showed the versatility of women in the workplace.
“Career counseling is part of our job as student advocates. Over students’ four to five years here at Dominican, we try to expose them to as many opportunities as possible,” said Mrs. Suzanne Ladmirault, guidance counselor. Over the years of Career Days, students are exposed to as many as 20 professionals in both growing and established fields, helping them to make informed decisions for their futures.
“Career Day is always exciting because I get to see a wide variety of jobs, including some I did not know existed,” said senior Cameron Wall. “I really got to explore the different occupations with an altered perspective, and the entire day excited me to go out into the world and make my mark.”