SkillsUSA and NTHS host annual Career Day


Blot photo by Liam Umbs

Speaker Halie Aaron discusses her career from CHS to her current job.

Riley Forrester

CHS students explored the job market by listening to various speakers on Friday, Feb. 24 during the annual Career Day hosted by SkillsUSA and the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). Parents, alumni and other guest speakers from different industries shared their experiences as students circulated the classrooms.

The 12 speakers included Eddy Occhipinti, athletics director and broadcaster for Monmouth University, Mike Curry, Emmy Award winning sound designer for Major League Baseball and Francesca Cocchi, CHS alumni and associate editor of Food Network Magazine. Speakers outside of the communications field also joined the Career Day lineup including Ross DiMiceli, owner of Atlantic Bagel Company, and Dr. Yen-Hong Kuo, manager of biostatistics core at Hackensack Meridian Health.

Junior Luke Sassa of Matawan particularly enjoyed the joint presentation between Constituent Services Director Kathryn Balitsos and Policy Director Aislinn Brennan, allowing him to learn about pursuing a career in media and politics.

 “Relating to my own interests in the media field, it has fascinated me to learn about the different jobs I will be able to choose from in the industry,” Sassa said. “It was also eye opening to learn about types of jobs available in the field of politics, as i’ve always wondered what an entry level political job looks like, and [Baltisos and Brennan’s] presentation afforded me exposure to that kind of opening.”

After six rotations of 20 minute presentations students and faculty gathered in the cafeteria as keynote speaker Halie Aaron, CHS class of 2014, spoke about her journey to Associate Producer of Food Network Digital.
Aaron expressed gratitude for the opportunity to speak at her alma mater.

“It was amazing because CHS taught me so much and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for this high school,” Aaron said. “It was so cool to be able to share my knowledge and what I have learned because of the foundation that I got at CHS.” 

SkillsUSA and NTHS president, senior Neil Estrada of Middletown, enjoyed Aaron’s presentation.

“I think my favorite part was the keynote speaker because Halie really did an incredible job. As soon as she opened up with a TikTok, I knew she was a great fit for CHS and the rest of her presentation did not disappoint,” Estrada said.

This year, SkillsUSA raised an estimated $2,700 and received their first ever $1,000 sponsor from Sundaes The Ice Cream Place. The proceeds will finance the club’s spring competitions. Estrada attributed this financial success as well as Career Day’s overall prosperity to the hard work of his club members.

Financially, we’ve done substantially better than any year in recent history. There was a ton of work going into contacting sponsors, speakers, assembling goodie bags, programs, and painting the bulletin board,” Estrada said. “We were lucky to have such an enthusiastic club this year, which really made things easier.”