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Foreshadowing the future

By Staff | Aug 30, 2013

Rugby High School junior Elizabeth Blessum spent part of her summer job shadowing at three different businesses in Rugby. Blessum, who is interested in business and is active in Future Business Leaders of America, said she learned from all three experiences. Chris Bieri/PCT

Most high school students spent their summers enjoying time at the lake or hanging out with friends.

Jessica Blessum was doing some of that too, but she was also preparing for her future.

Blessum, a junior at Rugby High School, shadowed at three different businesses over the summer, in the hopes of finding her favored career path.

In total, Blessum shadowed at the Dakota Eye Clinic, the Rugby Veterinary Clinic and the Heart of America Medical Center Johnson Clinic.

“I kind of wanted to see what I was interested in,” she said. “I knew I wanted to know business secretary type stuff. I looked into what I’d need to do to shadow.”

Her first experience was at Dakota Eye Clinic, where her cousin works.

“I ended up shadowing my cousin, Cassandra Blessum, at Dakota Eye Clinic,” she said. “She talked to me too about other places I could try.”

Blessum had recommended the vet clinic and that led to a third opportunity.

“I job-shadowed the vet tech and the vet and the business part of it, too,” she said. “I realized I wasn’t interested in being a vet tech. I ended up going out to the clinic and job-shadowing with their check-in and check-out.”

She said even though she wasn’t interested in the work at the vet clinic, she still learned about careers and what other jobs are available.

“I guess I thought a vet tech was more like doing the paperwork,” she said. “They work right alongside the vet, and I didn’t know that.”

Blessum is active in Future Business Leaders of America and knew that was a career field she was interested in investigating.

“I mainly liked the business part of it, working with the computers,” she said. “I’m taking a lot of classes with (business teacher) Mrs. Trottier this year.”

She said she’s interested in the clerical side of working in an office, but also would enjoy being the first person customers or patients talk to when they call or visit the office.

“I’ve always been a neat freak and I like to do organizing,” she said. “I thought secretary work would be fun because I’m interacting with people and using the computer and doing the paperwork.”

She spent most of her time at the Johnson Clinic with the schedulers and at the check-in and check-out desk.

“I liked that the best,” she said. “I enjoyed shadowing where they check you in and check you out,” she said.

She believes her experiences over the summer has helped her make her mind up on what she wants to do for her career.

“I think I’ve shadowed enough that I’ve seen what I want to go into,” she said.

Blessum would recommend the experience to any student who is interested in getting a jump start on a career.

“I would suggest job shadowing because it’s really helpful and a great experience,” she said.

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