Organizing “Career Lunches” that establish lasting connections between students and industry leaders

Grades 9-12

On December 4th and December 11th, I’ll share the one approach I’ve found most successful for connecting industry leaders with my career-academy students. As often as I can, I organize school-based lunches in which my students get a chance to meet with and learn from a local industry professional.

These events provide immediate and long-term benefits to my students. Right away, they give my students a chance to learn more about the requirements of a particular career. Students learn first-hand what’s needed to prepare and to succeed at a job they might soon have themselves, and they begin to imagine themselves with this responsibility.

These lunches make it equally possible for industry leaders to learn more about my classroom in an authentic way and—even more importantly—to make one-on-one connections with my students. Almost always, these professionals feel more connected and invested than they would otherwise, because they can see the impact they have on young people just beginning to think about their careers. Very often, this first meeting leads a lunch-time speaker to real engagement on our advisory board, and sometimes to internships and to other ongoing student support.

On December 4, I’ll share the ways I’ve learned ensure a student-hosted lunch comes together for maximum success. I’ll discuss the ways I first identify and contact a prospective classroom speaker, and then how I collaborate with this speaker to create an agenda for a classroom visit. We work together before the lunch to anticipate the things students will most want to learn from the visit. I’ll present the ways I’ve found to advertise the session and to gain student interest, and I’ll provide details about what I expect of my students: how they should prepare, how they should dress, and how they should present themselves professionally throughout the lunch.

You’ll have a chance to reflect about this approach and to think about how this process might work for you, and then our group will meet again on December 11th to share ideas and feedback so that you can employ these approaches in your own classroom.

Register for this TeachingPartners Live Workshop now, and TeachingPartners will immediately send you an appointment you can drop right in your online calendar. You’ll also get a reminder closer to the start of our first session to make sure you’re ready.


Jasmine Smith

Jasmine Smith is a native of St. Louis Missouri and is a graduate of Tennessee State University the University of Tennessee – Knoxville, and Lesley University. She has an Undergraduate degree in Business Administration-Marketing, a Master of Scien... Full Bio