By: Nikita Mosier, senior reporter
WJPS’s annual Career Day took place on February 28, 2018 during second and third period classes. Robert McDonald, Daniel Fanto, Stella Conti, Karen Batson, are a few of the several dozen people who educated students about their careers.
Robert McDonald was one of many parents who came to discuss his job. McDonald is a NYS Supreme Court Judge who was elected through a ballad in Queens County. His education took place at New York Law School and St. John’s University. During the conversation, he was asked what his most memorable murder case was. He replied saying it was about a boy who was given a gold medal from his grandmother. One day, the boy with the medal was approached by another boy, who pulled out a gun and stole it from him. The victim ended up obtaining a gun shortly after, shooting the boy who had stolen it from him. He ended up being charged with first degree murder, spending his life in prison. “His life is now over,” Robert McDonald said.
Daniel Fanto is a New York firefighter who brought equipment with him to bring his stories to life. Ever since he was a young boy, he would look out his window, seeing fire trucks go by. Fanto would think to himself that he wanted to become a firefighter when he grew up. He explained that his job is “dangerous, demanding, but fun.” However, he may not have had a chance to have such a fulfilling career if he followed his original major. Previously, his major was psychology at St. John’s University. Fanto works in Flushing and once even responded to a WJPS call. He discusses how difficult his job is when there is a fire, because you can not see anything and that you must trust your instincts in order to save lives. Despite all the hardships, he explains that “It’s rewarding when you finally do your dream.”
Senior Larraine Casey commented, “I liked Daniel Fanto, the firefighter. His stories we really compelling and he even brought in equipment so we can see from his point of view. I was continuously interested by the conversation.”
Stella Conti, a businesswoman who came to America as an immigrant, shared her story on what inspired her to become what she is. When she was younger, she aspired to become a lawyer. She would always watch television shows, feeling that being a lawyer would be “a really glamorous job.” She later in life applied to Morgan Stanley, where she budgets expenses and makes sure everything is operating in the optimal way. By working with Morgan Stanley, she explains it exposes her to many opportunities, such as volunteering. She explains that if she were to do anything else, “I would have been miserable, because I wasn’t doing what I loved.”
Karen Batson was another memorable speaker at Career Day. She works at Atlas Airlines as the director. Not only does she do this, she also the owner of Mathnasium in Whitestone. She explained how she teaches a boy, Kieran, who also demonstrates a fascination in airplanes. Batson believes he will become something in the field with his love for flight. She went through a lot of steps to get to where she is today, and she said it is because of all her hard work. Throughout her discussion, she implored, “whatever you do, don’t be average.” Batson emphasized how her dedication, obsession, and her own perfectionist quality allowed her to get far in the field of air. At the end, she left us with, “don’t be good, be great.”
Batson urged students to do the best you can, and this goes for things even beyond flight. In every profession, it requires commitment, and students must persevere to get where they want to be. By endurance, the payoff is revealed in the end.