Last week I had the opportunity to speak at a Career Day event for Eagles Landing Middle School in Boca Raton, FL. It was the 5th annual career day for the 8th grade class about to graduate and enter high school next school year. Each student got to select three different careers to hear about so they showed interest in the topic. I was chosen to speak as a Web / Graphic Designer. There was a wide range of professionals from Lawyers, Paramedics, Chefs, Authors, Veterinarians and dozens more.
I was in 8th grade when I started to get into the basics of web design. A friend of mine bought a book on HTML and he taught me some of the basics. I remember making my first website on things that I was into – Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, The Beatles, and things of that nature. I actually still have a copy of the first site believe it or not and like to take a look at it every 2 or 3 years and have a good laugh at how bad it was.
I remember this time frame very well I took them for a trip down memory lane and explained what the internet was like back in 95-96 (many of them weren’t even born yet!). I told them how most people connected to the Internet with AOL 2.5 which came on a floppy disc, that most of them probably have never used a floppy. How it was through a dial-up connection running windows 3.11. When I told them Yahoo was only formed a year before and Google was just a project at Stanford University I could see some of their eyes light up – thinking a world without Google!?! This was several years before iPods, iPhones, Twitter, Facebook and WiFi connections. As I was preparing the presentation and coming up with these little tidbits of information it got me thinking that all of that stuff seems soooooooo long ago when in actuality it’s a very short period of time. Needless to say it made me feel old.
I went on to tell the kids some of the basics of web and graphic design, what an average day is like, the types of programs you use, and the types of people and clients you work with. Some of the kids showed a general interest asking good questions about the job and industry. I was able to present to three different groups on the topic and showed some samples of my work. Following the presentations all of the speakers gathered for a group photo and kind words from the principle and teachers in charge of organizing this as well as receiving some nice gifts.
So thank you again to Debbie Miler and the Eagles Landing Middle School for allowing me to help out.