CBS News Producer Mary Walsh headlines Career Day 2017
Mary Virginia Swain '77C

Saint Mary's School presented its annual Career Day, Friday, March 10, 2017. This year's Career Day theme is Cultivating the Skills to Serve. Each year, Saint Mary's School offers its students the opportunity to meet professionals from a wide range of professions and explore a variety of career paths during the school's annual Career Day.

"In light of recent studies on what companies look for when hiring, this year's Career Day programming focused on the skills needed to be successful in the workplace of tomorrow," says Katherine Jackson, director of student life and leadership programs.

Coupled with the school's COMPASS Leadership Development programming, Career Day encourages girls to think about professional and life goals and aspirations. Each Career Day is comprised of a keynote speaker, panel discussions with an array of professionals, and a meet and greet reception for guest panelists and members of the junior and senior classes in Smedes-Emory Parlor. The theme for Career Day changes each year and the Saint Mary's Parents Association's Career Day Committee, in concert with the school's Student Life Office, organizes and plans the event.

Career Readiness Week assembly, March 6

To kick-off this week dedicated to career readiness, Kate Pearce presented a keynote speech during Monday's Career Day assembly. Ms. Pearce is a senior planner with the City of Raleigh, focusing on the direction of Raleigh's iconic Dorothea Dix Park. Ms. Pearce is a graduate of Millsaps College and received her master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A recipient of numerous planning awards, Ms. Pearce most recently won the Innovative Transportation Solutions Award in 2015. This award is given by the Advancing Women in Transportation NC Triangle Chapter.

COMPASS Day Workshops

Career Day began with morning COMPASS Leadership Program grade-level workshops including:

  • Personality Preferences and Career Choices (9th Grade)
  • Living Wage versus Minimum Wage Workshop (10th Grade)
  • Real World Budgeting and Resume Creation (11th Grade)
  • LinkedIn Workshop (12th Grade)

Saint Mary's young alumnae photographers Carrie Coleman '12 and Sarah Vojnovich '12 were on campus taking professional head shots of the juniors and seniors to be used on LinkedIn and other professional resume outlets.

Career Day Keynote Speaker

Emmy Award winning CBS news producer Mary Walsh delivered an inspiring keynote address with words of wisdom from her long and successful career in journalism at the highest levels. Ms. Walsh has produced stories for the CBS Evening News, CBS Sunday Morning, and 60 Minutes. Assigned to the Pentagon beat since 1993, Ms. Walsh has covered the American military all over the United States and in many parts of the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, and Haiti.

Ms. Walsh has won two Alfred I. DuPont awards from Columbia University, five Emmy awards, an Overseas Press Club Award, the Joan Shorenstein Barone Award for Excellence in Journalism, a Wilber Award from the Religious Communicators Council, the University of Texas School of Communication 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the 2013 Rosalie Wynn Hearst Distinguished Public Service Award. She has also contributed to two books: The Human Journalist: Reporters, Perspectives, and Emotions, and Bioterrorism: Psychological and Public Health Interventions.

Career Day Panels

This year's Career Day was centered around a theme of Cultivating the Skills to Serve. Panelists were divided into three panels organized around the stages of career development: Getting Started - focusing on developing skills including perseverance, risk-taking, and listening; Cultivating Connections - which addresses building relationships, networking, seeking mentors, and building personal brand; and Paying It Forward - with a focus on serving as a mentor, lifelong learning, sharing knowledge, and embracing one's self-worth.

"The 2017 Career Day program offered a slight divergence from focusing on professional fields," says Katherine Jackson. "The panels focus on skills identified by the Career Day Committee for entry into a career, the middle of a career, and the experienced part of a career."

Getting Started

Spencer Bloom: Political Science/Spanish major, UNC-Wilmington

Emily Morgan: Registered Nurse, pediatric hematology, oncology, bone marrow transplant unit, North Carolina Children's Hospital

Margaret Cheatham Williams '07: Photographer, video journalist, editor, The New York Times

Cultivating Connections

Brittany Bailey: Creator, Pretty Handy Girl blog

Brandi Davis: Fundraiser, UNC-Chapel Hill

Meg Duncan '02, M.D., Ph.D.: Medical Director, medical affairs/health economics and outcomes department, Alkermes

Paying It Forward

June Gunter, Ed.D. '83C: Co-founder and CEO of TeachingHorse. LLC

Waltye Rasulala: Vocalist, actor, producer

Christine Rogers: Director of corporate communications, PRA Health Sciences

Networking Reception

Career Day concluded with a networking reception in Smedes-Emory Parlor, where juniors and seniors had the opportunity to meet and talk with the keynote speaker and panelists. We even saw some business cards changing hands!