TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24TH, 2020

Continuing on from last week, Palo Alto High School will host lunch time speakers, organized by students, from March 9 through March 12 in the English Resource Center, Social Studies Resource Center and small gym for Career Month.

The week will start off with speakers Jaime Waydo and Julie Saffren on Monday. A University of California, Los Angeles graduate, Waydo is currently working at Google[x] as an engineer for Google’s self driving car.

Saffren, a graduate from Santa Clara University School of Law and Rochester Institute of Technology, practices family law and focuses on domestic violence issues.

On Tuesday, Ann Miura-Ko and Kelly Rinehart will be speaking. A venture capitalist, Miura-Ko is a co-founding partner at Floodgate, a venture capital firm, and is on the board for companies such as Modcloth, Refinery 29, Chloe and Isabel and Wanelo. She lectures at Stanford University in the school of engineering where she earned her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in mathematical modeling of computer science.

Kelly Rinehart is an executive pilot at Hewlett-Packard Aviation. She has worked at XOJET and the Lima Zulu Aircraft Corporation and studied at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and University of California, Santa Barbara.

Chandrama Anderson and Sendil Palani will continue on Wednesday. Anderson is a marriage counselor who is currently the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling and has written various books on counseling. She has held numerous executive and high management positions at Stanford University and in Silicon Valley. Her experience allows her to better understand the struggles and etter understand the struggles and stress of Silicon Valley couples.

Palani works at Tesla Motors in manufacturing and operations and has worked in business development and finance as well. He has worked at Google as a product manager and at General Electric as a summer associate. Palani received his education from Stanford University and University of Pennsylvania.

The final speakers on Thursday will be Meme Pederson and Peter Ehrhorn. Pederson is the Chief Operating Officer of Tout Sweet Patisserie and the Chielf Executive Officer of Taste catering and event planning. She and her catering company have worked for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the San Francisco Cabaret.

Ehrhorn works for StarVista, a company whose mission is to aid children, youth and families by providing high impact services through counseling, skill development and crisis intervention. He is the program manager of StarVista’s Your House South He previously worked as program coordinator and a mental health clinician at StarVista and a community integration director and an instructional aide at the Morgan Autism Center. He received his Master of Arts in counseling psychology at Santa Clara University and his Bachelor of Arts in psychology at San Diego State University.

Last week’s speakers consisted of dentist and social media businessman Dr. Edward Zuckerberg, heart-lung surgeon David Weill, city economic development manager Thomas Fehrenbach, Udacity vice president Clarissa Shen, psychiatrist Dr. Adam Strassberg, Google product manager John Diorio, National Football League replay communicator Terri Valenti, fine artist Kristin Hartman and software engineer Raj Rao.

This year’s Career Month was organized by Paly students. The students-leaders include juniors Jeanette Wong, Priya Misner, Minyoung Kim, Alison Zhang and Zach Segal.

“Those five people… they’ve taken on a lot… I’m really so impressed by the professionalism of the students,” Career Month advisor Christina Owens said.

Wong was asked to lead the Career Month Planning Committee after she had proposed a speaker to talk. Wong gathered her friends and fellow students from the Entrepreneur Club to assist her in organizing.

The theme of Career Month is “excellence; finding passion in work and life.” This theme has been used for Career Month since it began and surrounds the idea of working for enjoyment and as a passion.

“The challenge… is looking at you career path as a journey, looking for satisfaction rather than some intangible idea of success,” Owens said.
The purpose of Career Month is to help students find a career they enjoy, a career they are good at and a career the world values.

Career Month was started as a replacement of in class career speakers. By having speakers come during lunch instead of during class, students can choose which speaker to go listen to. Lunch is served to those who come to encourage student participation.

Throughout the years Career Month has changed, but the aim to give students a broader perspective on possible career choices as well as an in-depth view on individual careers always stays the same.

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