Program offers opportunity for students to learn more about professions

Sixteen-year-old Patrick Martin is looking for a career in radiology because he wants to help people.

Thanks to Meridian Community College’s 15th Annual Pre-Professional Day, held Friday in the College’s Tommy E. Dulaney Center, he got the opportunity to talk one-on-one with several university officials to discover more about his desired career path. “I want to learn more about my future,” the Southeast Lauderdale High School student said.

“This was good exposure,” he said about Pre-Professional Day.

Martin was one of 231 local high school and community college students who took part in the College’s event in which educational officials from Mississippi State University’s colleges of engineering, veterinary medicine, kinesiology and physician’s assistant; the University of Mississippi’s schools of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy; William Carey University School of Pharmacy, and Mississippi Rural Physicians/Dental Health scholarships talked about the requirements, expectations and opportunities available.

Stephanie Brown, MCC biology instructor and principle coordinator of the event, said the day went exceptionally well. “It was exciting to get students in touch with the professionals who can help guide and prepare them for a successful future.”

Dr. John Smith Jr., assistant dean for admissions and interim assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Dentistry, noted this was his sixth year to attend Pre-Professional Day and finds the event helpful in recruiting. “I feel like we have to get the word out while students are in high school of the opportunities available,” he said.

Hosted by the MCC Science Faculty, Pre-Professional Day also featured guest speakers including MCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner who encouraged the audience of students and teachers to network with the colleges representatives to learn more of the opportunities available.

Photo: Dr. John Smith talks to Southeast High School students about career opportunities in the dental field during MCC’s Pre-Professional Day.