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Hampton/Shaler

Hampton students set to visit Fidelity Investments, PricewaterhouseCoopers

| Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, 9:00 p.m.

Boston is the site of the next job-shadowing opportunity for the Future Business Leaders of America student organization of Hampton High School.

The annual trip is arranged by Hampton business teacher Tony Howard, the FBLA advisor since he started there in 1999. His goal is to create a unique business learning experience for the 77 students taking the educational trip inom April.

Last year, they visited Chicago where they job shadowed Gallup headquarters. Two years ago they visited a major health group in New York City.

The trip is open to FBLA members in grades nine to 12, with mostly juniors and seniors attending, said Howard. As of now, they are confirmed to job shadow Fidelity Investments and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

During these trips they may interact with chief executive offices, senior accountants, forensic accountants, and more.

“The No. 1 thing I say is ‘these people are just like you. You can do that. You can achieve that,'” said Howard, who lives in Wexford.

Dependent on availability, other shadowing possibilities include General Electric, Dunkin' Donuts, Gillette, and Houghton Mifflin. However, Howard said it's hard to determine as business schedules for these companies are ever-changing and last minute.

School board vice president Mary Alice Hennessey said it's traditionally been a great learning experience for the students.

“This is always a wonderful trip for our FBLA group. They alternate cities and have been to New York, Chicago and Boston. In addition to visiting various companies with job-shadowing opportunities, they also usually visit a few colleges. For many of our students, this could be their first trip to this part of the country,” said Hennessey, who also is the student affairs chairperson.

Howard said visiting places like Chicago and New York City gives them an idea of what it is like to live and work in big cities. And it also exposes them to new environments and diversification, such as key professionals in both genders and various ethnicities.

Students will also visit Boston College and Harvard University as well as tour the city and possibly Salem, Mass., the site of the historic witch trials.

Along with interacting and networking with key business professionals, the students get help establishing a set of occupational goals.

The trip costs approximately $650, and the students have been fundraising for it, including a recent gourmet coffee sale, said Howard.

Since Howard began advising the FBLA student group, membership has gone from 17 to 155.

He said they seem to consider it as a great learning opportunity and are pretty serious about it. And he makes a point to tell them how they can have the same success, adding, “I can see you all doing that.”

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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