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Murray Journal

Murray High Career Day Gives Students Insights Into Occupations

Dec 08, 2015 08:19AM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama

Murray - After veterinarian Jordan Hammer shared stories about caring for large animals as part of his career with the South Valley Large Animal Clinic, Murray High senior Christian Harris approached him to get more information about colleges and internships.

“I learned what to expect in this profession, a lot of the fun side of working with animals in situations I wouldn’t expect,” Christian said after listening to Hammar as part of Murray High’s career day. This was one of the career choices Christian and others selected to learn about from about 65 speakers on Nov. 5.

Hammer, who has seen tigers, kangaroos and snow leopards as patients, shared a story about a horse falling into a window well and the trials of getting the horse out of the home. Ninety percent of his patients are horses, something he was familiar with growing up on a ranch in Idaho, he said.

“I didn’t grow up wanting to be a vet,” Hammer said. “I loved farming, but in today’s economy and without a large amount of money or land, I knew I would need to learn about something else.”

After studying veterinary medicine at Oklahoma State, he continued at Purdue University to learn pathophysiology, or “why things go wrong.”

“It’s a hard thing when patients can’t talk to us, tell us what’s wrong. It’s even harder to put a horse down. But what’s important is that you’re doing the job, any job, because you love it and are passionate about it,” he said.

That’s also the message former Spartan Ashleigh Pepper shared with students. 

Pepper, who is a pilot for JetBlue at the age of 30, said she took to heart the messages  basketball coach Lisa White gave her while at Murray High School.

“She said that we need to know what we wanted to do, believe in the dream, be motivated to achieve it and give our best every day, and that’s just what I did,” Pepper said, who began flying while in high school, and by age 16 had her private flying license. 

Not only did Pepper share with students how to prepare to be a pilot and salaries they can make, but she added a few stories about flights and how her routes and “office views” change with every flight. She told students that there can be times her job has high stress, but in exchange, it also comes with about half the month off.

“I put what Coach White told me and I have to be at the top of my game every day, every takeoff, every landing, 100 percent of the time. Right now, you may think it’s super chill to be at Friday’s football game, but the years in high school go by so fast and either you realize you have a plan or you don’t, and you’re going in the direction of your dream or you’re not. You need to invest in yourselves and start choosing a career you’ll be happy with,” Pepper said.

Being passionate about all aspects of theater is what Hale Center Theatre’s founder Sally Dietlein shared with students.

“Working in theater is not just what you think it is, and that’s the secret,” Dietlein told students. “We use all our disciplines in theater. It encompasses everything, and it is the granddaddy of them all.”

As a challenge, students suggested disciplines that weren’t involved with theater to stump Dietlein, but she incorporated them all — physics in stage movements, chemistry with chemical reactions to create a fire, flight technology to make actors fly across the stage, psychology in actors’ understanding of their characters, history in understanding the past to put into perspective and set the stage for musicals, as well as several more.

“Communication is a big one now. People don’t speak anymore with all the technology. But in theater, we get to express ourselves and we project loudly so everyone can hear us,” she said.

Dietlein, who told the students about Hale Center Theatre’s history and its future with two stages currently being built in Sandy, also provided students with tips when auditioning and learning about all aspects of theater.

“The joy of theater is that so many disciplines can be applied to theater whether it’s a job or a hobby. Right now, it’s a time to learn about your passions, and to prepare yourself for that career,” she said.