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Future Business Leaders of America at Pinkerton Academy in Derry explore careers

Union Leader Correspondent

February 16. 2014 8:14PM

DERRY — Pinkerton Academy’s Future Business Leaders of America members gained real world experience Tuesday as they met with several local businesses to learn about possible career paths.

FBLA students organized the event that was held at the school. During the session, they were able to ask business representatives such questions as how they got started and why they chose a particular field.

The students were responsible for getting the businesses to attend, organizing the meeting and then basically running the entire operation, said Tyler Smith, an adviser and teacher.

“The kids have done an amazing job, ” Smith said. “They were very responsible. They did a really good job getting the businesses together and moving the kids along. Overall, I think it was a success.”

The students set up tables and organized the event, which ran for about 90 minutes in the morning. Students were divided into groups and given a certain amount of time to meet and ask questions of each business. When the time was up, the groups moved on to the next table to start the process again.

Businesses represented at the event included: Kerry’s Dance Center, in Chester; the New Hampshire Fisher Cats; the Coffee Factory; Firefly Salon and TD Bank in Derry.

Getting the businesses to come to the event was probably the most difficult part of the process, said Pinkerton senior Kelly Fitzsimmons, president of FBLA. She said the students made a number of calls before getting the five businesses to attend.

“We were shot down a few times, but it’s a learning experience,” Fitzsimmons said.

Recruiting at least one business was much easier, however, for Pinkerton senior Allyson DeCloux, also in FBLA. DeCloux said she has known Kerry’s Dance Center owner, Kerry Bacheller, as she dances at her studio.

“She’s my dance teacher and I’ve been dancing there for 14 years,” DeCloux said.

Also helping organize the event was Pinkerton senior Amanda Joncas, who took photos.

Some business representatives said they were impressed by the students and would come back again if asked.

“There were a lot of good questions about the banking industry and things that we do,” said Elizabeth Bridge, assistant manager of TD Bank in Derry.

Bridge said she was asked how she got started in banking, whether or not she really liked it, and whether it was originally something she thought of doing.

“It was really handled nicely,” Bridge said. “I would definitely do it again.”

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