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College and Career Readiness Expert Speaks at New Hartford Central School

College and Career Readiness Expert Speaks at New Hartford Central School
Ben Carpenter, author of The Bigs, addressed student assembly

On February 15, 2017, New Hartford Central School hosted college and career readiness consultant Ben Carpenter. Carpenter, a nationwide speaker, greeted the senior class at the James A. Meyer Performing Arts Complex. A former Wall Street CEO, Carpenter advised students on how to build a strong foundation for college and successful careers.

Carpenter is the author of The Bigs. New Hartford students discovered that Carpenter was inspired to write the book after learning that his children, recent college graduates at the time of writing, were highly tech-savvy but equally unsure of how to build a resume or productively contribute to their new workplaces. How would his children function as adults, once they made it to “the Bigs?,” an old shorthand sports term for the Major Leagues. Answers to such questions as “should I send that email to my boss?,” and “should I post this on Facebook?,” are ones Carpenter believes are especially important. In his experience, many students do not genuinely consider how social media etiquette, among other factors, may potentially impact a young person’s ability to land that first internship, that first job, or embark on what may likely be several careers.

Superintendent of Schools Robert J. Nole points out that many educators understand Carpenter’s point of view. “Our teachers and guidance counselors are keenly aware that our students are entering a very competitive, global economy,” Nole says. “We’ve all seen how much the workplace has changed over the years--less face-to-face meetings than before, resumes have now made way for apps like LinkedIn-- yet we still need to emphasize the importance of interpersonal skills to enjoy our careers and lead happy lives.”

Carpenter is an advocate for what he calls early and compulsory “career training,” because as he wrote in the New York Times in 2014, “getting students to decide what job they want--and teaching them how to thoroughly research that job, get internships, and conduct a job search for a full-time position--is not a quick or easy task.”

All New Hartford students in attendance received a copy of The Bigs to keep and use as a lifelong career resource. For more information on career training, visit