Career Speakers

ACE Career Speakers

We Need You!

ACE staff are eager to integrate an industry perspective into their classroom lessons and we need your expertise.

Suggestions for participation include being a guest speaker, work with students on community and class projects, present a hands-on demonstration related to your field or provide a job site tour.

Speaking to students is easier than you might imagine. Many students, especially those in ACE, already have specific career interests.  Others with less exposure to specific industries and careers are curious about the breadth of careers available to them, and the education and training required for success.

The length of the presentation is up to you. You may choose to speak to one class on one day, or you may visit multiple classes over time. Whatever your interests and time constraints, the ACE staff will work with you to design the most effective and convenient approach. Demonstrations, pictures, and handouts are very effective and draw students’ interest.  To sign up, or for more information, contact David Nott, ACE Advisory Chair at [email protected] or at 626.497.3750 or Dr. Melissa Brookman, ACE Director at [email protected] / 562.423.1471 ext. 2336.


Class sizes vary, but most have about 30 students. The best guest speakers are excited about their careers and run an interactive, dynamic session with students. Visual aids, handouts, and hands-on activities are always encouraged. If audio-visual equipment is needed, presenters are welcome to bring it along, or PIC staff can arrange to provide it.

Below are examples of questions you might ask and points you might cover. Above all, you should focus on the topics most relevant to your particular experience.

  • Overview of current job and its responsibilities
  • How did you get to where you are today?
    • Any obstacles that you had to overcome growing up?
    • What relevant classes did you take in high school?
    • How did you become interested in your industry?
    • What was your major in college?
    • Did you have any other jobs leading up to this one?
  • If relevant, talk about your personal experience in college.
    • What did you like? What didn't you like?
    • Did you have to work your way through college?
    • Did you apply for scholarships? Was it difficult to stay focused?
  • What do you like most about your job?
  • What do you like least about your job?
  • Discuss the importance of work/ life balance to you.
  • What are the next steps in your career?

Sample Guest Speaker Agenda

Trade: Electrical Careers
Date: Thurs. 11.15.12
Time: 9am – 12pm
Sessions: 3 X 45 mins.
Activity: Wiring a circuit and pulling wire
Location: Construction Rm.
Presenter(s): xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Needs/Req: Workspace, electricity
Curriculum Connections:
Wind, Water, and Solar – these are integrated projects that begin this month and every subject is tied into the project in some way.  It may be research, calculating costs, measurement, design, assembly, marketing, connections to math, science, English and history, etc. All ACE teachers are involved in these grade level projects.  References and connections you can make with regards to your area of expertise and wind, water and solar would help the students make meaning of their learning and experiences in ACE.
Points of Interest:
Salary, Job Description, Interviewing Tips, Career Ladder/Structure, requirements and education, Pros and Cons of the job, Union vs. Non-Union, Future of the industry, personal stories, pictures, etc.
Providing opportunities for students to explore the field, and small hands-on projects help to reinforce learning for the students and encourages them to discover new interests.  Brochures, event flyers, and handouts with field information also help students make connections and peak interests. Sharing professional work samples, job bids, contracts, applications, presentation boards, materials boards, models, cost analysis calculations, etc.

Facility tours are also a wonderful opportunity for students to experience the field.  Off-campus trips need to be planned approximately 5-6 weeks prior to the event, but it is wll worth the effort: trips are never forgotten! This is only a suggestion as some fields do not lend themselves to these opportunities.