Thursday, April 1, 2010

Career Week Day 3

This past week, since it's Spring Break for Chicago Public Schools, Cabrini Connections has hosted Career Week for our students. On Monday, Bradley took our students to Water Tower Place and De Paul University (Day 1 Here). On Tuesday, El Da'Sheon took our students to the home office of one of our volunteers, AJ Tyson (Day 2 Here). Yesterday, I had the great honor and privilege of taking one of our students, Christian Palacios, to see an accounting agency and to visit the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Our first stop was to Grant Thornton, an international accounting firm, where one of our volutneer tutor/mentors, Torquil Carlisle, works. Torquil is originally from England and worked at their London office for two years, before being transferred to the United States. While both Christian and I discussed coming in with preconceived notions of how boring accounting is, Torquil and the wonderful staff at Grant Thornton made it quite exciting! Torquil helps international companies make sure that they're paying their taxes and all of their accounts are okay, even when say, a product is manufactured in one country, bought in another, and the company is headquartered in a third. Pretty cool! I think Christian was especially interested in forensic accounting where accountants try and figure out why money is being lost and where it went. We learned that if we were to give just a couple of facts about ourselves, a lot of accountants would have the tools to find out everything about you. Scary but interesting at the same time.

Christian and were both really excited about going to the US Court of Appeals, where Lu Han, another volunteer tutor/mentor, works as a clerk. Christian wants to be a criminal defense attorney and I'm starting law school this fall at the University of Oregon law school. So it was career day for both of us! Lu explained to us the process of how people end up at the Court of Appeals and how it's different from regular trials you would see on tv. Did you know in a court of appeals there is no jury and there are three judges that sit on the trial? I didn't. Christian was really excited to find out that anyone can come and watch a trial at the court of appeals and Lu promised him that she would let him know when there was a really exciting case as well. I think I even might attend a trial and see how our law works in real life! Lu also was really kind in telling Christian about law school and answering my more specific questions about law school.

In any case, I know I had a great time yesterday, and I'm pretty sure Christian did too. My overarching impression was how wonderful it was to talk to two people who really love and enjoy their jobs. Torquil and Lu were so wonderful in sharing with us what they do and their enthusiasm for their careers is infectious. Thanks so much Torquil and Lu and thanks to Christian for coming yesterday. I think we both learned a lot!

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