Sealy High School CTE students attended the Women In Industry conference at South Shore Harbour Resort in League City Feb. 17 to explore petrochemical careers. They networked with industry leaders such as ExxonMobil, DOW Chemical, LyondellBassell, BASF, INOES, and Chevron Phillips Chemical and more. They participated in a panel discussion from craftswomen discussing “a day in the life of” their line of work. They attended sessions regarding “Career Pathways for Petrochemical and Construction Jobs” and “Skill Sets needed for Petrochemical career fields”. Students also visited with community colleges about programs available in their field of interest. An additional panel discussion consisting of HR reps from the aforementioned companies proved to be very informative in what is needed to secure employment — from what to include on resumes, cover letters, relevant references, interview attire, and how to answer interview questions. They emphasized the importance of making a positive first impression to always giving your best and never giving up.
Each student was asked what was the most valuable part of this experience for them personally:
Shawna McDaniel: "Coming to the event has showed me that being a female should not determine which career path I choose for my future."
Staphany Lozano "Don't say I want to be the best woman at my profession. Instead, say I want to be the best at my profession. If you say 'woman' you are separating yourself and there will be a division."
Kennedy: "Don't not go for it because you think you will be left out because you are a girl, there's going to be other people in the same boat in the class as you."
Melissa Simms, SHS business education advisor: "I feel this experience was empowering for them. They came away with more confidence in their ability to make a future for themselves. I was personally excited to hear speakers confirm what they learn in class about keeping their social media 'clean' and the importance of working well with others. It was also encouraging to hear industry leaders reinforce the relevance of their high school education by expressing a need for the use of STEM on a daily basis in all of these jobs and reiterate the benefit of the OSHA 10-hour certification they are now earning in class.”