Career Orientation: A Community Approach

A Research Project to Understand Career Orientation 

At the time of writing, the graduation from middle school countdown on Miranda’s career orientation webpage reads 93 days, 7 hours and 7 seconds. She feels the pressure to make choices now, at the end of middle school, that will most certainly affect her university studies and future career. 

Miranda decided to research career orientation and learning styles for her Grade 10 MYP Personal Project. She wondered if students would have more success making vocational choices if they recognized how they best learn. 

Ultimately Miranda’s research led her to understand that “vocation is the personal and cultural manifestation of identity”. Students should get to know themselves early – it’s the only way for them to actively make informed choices about their futures. 

Career Orientation Should Be a Priority in Schools

During her research project Miranda was able to meet and interview Nadine Mouchet, author of Parcours de l’orientation (lycée). Nadine is an author and entrepreneur with years of experience creating vocational orientation tools for students. She agrees with Miranda, stating that career orientation is “fundamental” and that it is one way for students to “find their place on earth and in society”. 

Nadine believes that students and families often don’t have the information they need, and that schools are not always equipped to fill the gaps. She was inspired by Miranda’s desire to share her research project with the International School of Paris (ISP) community. She insists that guiding students in their choices will be easier if orientation resources are combined and shared. She continues to do exactly this through her writing and publishing, as well as through her work at Swapbook, a start-up that organises the exchange of used textbooks – and the knowledge users have gained from them!

Sharing Career Orientation Research

During her inquiry process, Miranda was able to exchange her ideas with experts in the field of career orientation. She contacted the founder of Human RoadsFrançois-Xavier Beillon, who explained the highs and lows of developing digital career orientation solutions for students and universities. 

Miranda also presented her research at the ISP Personal Project Showcase, alongside her classmates. Her presentation inspired a high school student, Lorenzo, to find out more about why choosing a university major can be a difficult decision for graduates. He discovered, and shared in an article in the ISP Insider (school newspaper), that “students’ desire to change their education decision…originates from failing to research their choices adequately”. 

In the second semester of the 2019-20 school year, Miranda will coach younger ISP students in all topics related to career orientation: writing a CV, finding an internship, choosing diploma level classes, finding opportunities to volunteer…and so much more! Her extra-curricular activity, held at lunch time at the ISP middle school campus, will allow students to stop in for coaching when the topic is pertinent to the choices they need to start making. 

Thanks to her willingness to mentor younger students, Miranda’s research project will have a lasting impact on the ISP community. 

  • career orientation
  • grade 10
  • Personal Project
  • research
  • student-led
  • vocational orientation