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Trillium Academy Seniors Hear Career Lessons from Chamber Millennials

By Daniel A. Washington 

Visiting the Detroit Regional Chamber’s office just one day after being announced the grand prize winners of the inaugural Race to the FAFSA Line Contest, more than 20 Trillium Academy seniors got a chance to hear from a panel of millennial employees of the Chamber.

“We (Detroit Drives Degrees) find that it is important that students get exposure to career opportunities here in the region during the critical part of their academic journey,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent at the Chamber.

Led by Handel, students discussed the important work of Detroit Drives Degrees (D3), a Chamber initiative seeking to increase the proportion of individuals with college degrees and high-skill credentials in the region. Greg's_Education-3

“Interning here at the Chamber in marketing and communications turned into a full-time job in the engagement department,” said Paige Blessman, engagement coordinator. “It is important to be open to new opportunities because you never know what you will end up enjoying.”

College preparedness, the importance of networking and following one’s passion were just a few of the topics Chamber employees spoke about with students. Panelists shared stories and shortcomings to better help give insight to career possibilities.

“The truth is you have to be flexible in a sense; there are multiple ways to get to where you want to be,” said William Butler, business development representative, during the panel discussion. “Each seemingly backward or forward step on my journey led me here – happily employed at the Chamber, living my dream – helping partake in shaping Detroit’s bright future.”

Panelists also included: Marianne Alabastro, manager of Signature Events; Sarah Craft, Detroit Drives Degrees program associate; Melissa Knapp, senior graphic designer; Nikki Farneti, financial analyst; and Daniel A. Washington, marketing and communications coordinator.

Daniel A. Washington is a marketing and communications coordinator at the Detroit Regional Chamber.