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MCS Eighth Graders Evaluate Career Possibilities on Mentoring Day

Friday, April 15, 2016

On Wednesday, April 13, Manhattan Country School eighth-graders spent the morning outside of the classroom, visiting professionals around the city. The field trips were part of our annual Eighth Grade Mentoring Day, which allows students to explore potential career options by spending time at the workplaces of parents, alumni, parents of alumni and friends in the MCS community. Each eighth-grader was matched with a professional working in a field in which they had expressed interest. During these visits, students had the chance to see a professional environment, observe their mentor at work and ask questions that could help them shape their career aspirations. 

This year, mentors shared their expertise in the following areas:  

  • Music: Ezra Gale ’85
  • Medicine: Erika Gibson ’86
  • Architecture: Brian Abell
  • Journalism: Gabe Miller ‘71
  • Foreign Affairs: Joanna Harvey
  • Law: Caitlin Naidoff ’00
  • Finance: Jose (Ricky) Castillo ’92

The following is a sampling of the students’ reflections on the day:

Julia, Sophie and Matthew spent the morning with MCS parent and trustee Brian Abell, an architect at Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects. Julia said: “We focused mostly on how to work with surroundings, lighting and all the steps to designing a building…I really like making and planning things like they did, so for me it was very helpful and interesting.”

Fauzi and Kenji visited Jose (Ricky) Castillo ’92, head of U.S. equity capital markets at Arrowgrass Capital Partners. Kenji said: “I learned about what traders look at to determine the value of a stock, why diversifying investments is important and what hedge funds do…I could see myself doing that work. The high pace of trading excited me.”

Amina, Ayla, Skye and Marcelo ventured to Brooklyn to meet with musician Ezra Gale ’85. Amina said: “I learned how to compose a song…Ezra really knew what he was doing, but he was also really fun.”

Giacomo, Samaria and Christopher traveled to New Jersey to meet with Erika Gibson ’86, a veterinary neurosurgeon with Garden State Veterinary Specialists. Christopher said: “I really enjoyed the experience because it was really cool to see surgeries being done on the cats and dogs.”

Jemma and Alec spent the morning with Gabe Miller ’71, copy chief at Sports Illustrated. Alec said: “I learned about how putting together a magazine works. I saw the outline of a magazine and saw different things people had to do to create the final product.”

Cal and Vidar (pictured above) made a trip to the United Nations to meet with Joanne Harvey, coordination officer in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Cal said: “I learned a lot about how the U.N. works and how U.N. peacekeeping works. We also got to see the first public debate for the new secretary general.”

A very special thanks to Flannery, Maiya, Akemi, Adam, the mentors and everyone who helped make the day a success. Those in the MCS community interested in hosting a student for the 2017 Eighth Grade Mentoring Day should contact Adam Isler, development and alumni relations associate, at aisler@manhattancountryschool.org.