St. Joseph’s Academy juniors and seniors spent February 19 off campus, shadowing professionals in career fields in which they have an interest. Job Shadowing Day is an annual event sponsored by the SJA Counseling Center.
Students shadowed mentors in a wide range of professions, including healthcare, law, aerospace engineering, manufacturing, law enforcement and more.
Senior Mary Cloutier spent the day with Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Seiter, a member of the SJA class of 1979 and a pediatrician at the Baton Rouge Clinic. “This was a great chance to see a day in her job and the wide age ranges and illnesses she sees,” Cloutier said. “I even got the chance to observe a four-day-old baby’s first checkup. She also took us to a talk regarding hemophilia in pediatrics which was so interesting and made me so sure of my want to be in the medical field. I had an amazing day.”
Senior Eden Landry shadowed Dr. Steven Sotile, a radiologist at Woman’s Hospital. “I enjoyed having the opportunity to view the scans as Dr. Sotile would take them and learn from him while he read and evaluated the scans,” Landry said. “I was able to interact with not only Dr. Sotile but also Dr. James Ruiz along with many of the X-ray technicians. This impacted my interest in the radiology field because it answered many of the questions I had about the profession. It also opened my eyes to the everyday life of a doctor in a hospital setting. I had a great experience and would definitely do it again.”
Junior Shreya Reshamwala shadowed Lionel Dutreix, deputy chief operating offer at the NASA Michoud manufacturing plant in New Orleans. “I toured the whole facility and saw different stages of current missions being worked on and learned a lot about the lifestyle of an engineer,” Reshamwala said. “It was fascinating to walk by different engineers working on the inside of a liquid hydrogen tank shell or the outside of a core for a future mission or testing the stability of some welded barrels, and learning about the various machines and techniques used to create and put together different parts of a rocket. I followed Mr. Dutreix and sat in administrative meetings. After seeing the sheer awesomeness and the machinery and the engineers around Michoud, I am now even more driven to become an aerospace engineer in the future.”
Senior Anne-Marie Dizor job shadowed Cathy White at DOW’s Digital Operations Center. White works in the area of wearable technology. “An example would be the problem of men having back problems from lifting too many heavy things, so they made an exoskeleton that was designed to give the person an extra boost of strength,” Dizor said. “I was given a tour around the Digital Operations Center, and many of the projects were explained to me. They even had cool robots to reach hard-to-reach places to help make tasks less time consuming. I enjoyed listening to Mrs. Cathy and her coworkers come up with potential solutions to problems DOW was currently having all over the world. This definitely impacted me in a positive way because it showed me that there are places where I can see myself enjoying work.”
Senior Anne Marie Gahagan spent the day with physical therapist Jason Greene. “I was able to learn about a profession I previously knew little about,” Gahagan said. “Job shadowing Mr. Greene allowed me to learn more about the treatment of physical injuries through different exercises and therapeutic techniques. It was very interesting, and it opened my mind to the possibility of physical therapy as my career. I can really see myself in this field.”
Junior Anna Barreneche shadowed family attorney Lisa Prater Bailey. “We went to court and listened to hearings in both criminal and family cases, and I thoroughly enjoyed that,” Barreneche said. “After meeting Judge Daniel, he taught me a lot about school and what to do while you are in law school, and I learned that you can make money and learn a lot about law while being a clerk for a judge. After job shadowing Mrs. Lisa, I now know what I want to do with my life and learned more about family law. I also hope one day to clerk for a judge or maybe even go intern or work for Mrs. Lisa.”
Junior Jolan Taylor spent the day at the office of the Louisiana state epidemiologist. “It was very interesting to see how the Public Health Office works to keep Louisiana healthy,” she said.
Senior Mary Morgan Sutton job shadowed Dr. Allison Vitter, a pediatric neurologist in radiology at the Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. “I really enjoyed getting to learn how to read different scans, like CT scans and MRIs, and interact with some of the patients,” Sutton said. “It helped me realize that I definitely would like to work in the medical field and gave me a higher inclination to going into radiology.”
Senior Madeline Toler spent the day with pediatric occupational therapist Missy Devillier. “I enjoyed seeing how the different games they played with the kids were actually specifically designed to target areas where the children were lacking in fine motor skills and social skills,” Toler said. “It was a lot more in depth than I was expecting, and I really enjoyed spending the day there.”
Junior Jessica Michelet shadowed Saundra Watts, a homicide detective. “I enjoyed learning about what she does, going to an autopsy and meeting the police chief,” Michelet said. “She took me to see the state police headquarters and city police headquarters, and I met a lot of law enforcement personnel in different branches and the commanders of all of the branches because we went to a commanders’ meeting. This made my interest peak even more in becoming a homicide detective.”
Senior Rachael Coates job shadowed LSU Assistant Professor Dr. Adam Melvin, who serves as her research mentor. “He was not teaching, so I got to help grammar check the first chapter of a dissertation,” Coates said. “I also was able to read over a paper that was in the second or third revision process for publication, and I got to read what reviewers said in response to the paper and learned a lot about the process. I sat through some meetings with his students and learned about teaching assistants. None of this was completely new to me, but it did give me a better look at what I will be doing in college, since I plan to be working with him for the next four years. I really enjoyed every part of the day.”
Mindy Brodhead Averitt