Governor’s Education Adviser to CSD Students: ‘Don’t Give Up, Be Open to Change’

The path Tami Pyfer took to finding her dream job wasn’t exactly how she imagined it would be.

The Governor’s Education Advisor had three life goals when she was in the eighth grade. First, she wanted to be a mother–check. Second, she wanted to be a teacher–check. Third, she wanted to be a famous singer–still working on that one.

“The advice I would give…is don’t give up on your dreams, but be open to change,” Pyfer told an audience of about 100 students and their mentors at Canyons’ Job Shadow Day luncheon on Tuesday. “Sometimes dreams change. Sometimes you don’t even know what your dream is.”

Pyfer, for example, thought achieving her life goals would involve taking one job and working at it for 30 years before she retired. She didn’t plan on joining the city council where she lived, or teaching at a university, or becoming the Governor’s Economic Advisor, but each of those opportunities brought her to where she is now, in a profession she says she loves.

CSD’s Job Shadow Day is an opportunity for students to get a taste of career paths they may love. Mentors from businesses throughout the county, from architecture firms to engineering groups, orthodontists, media organizations, a veterinary hospital and more met their students Tuesday morning to give them an on-site, hands-on glimpse into what it is like to walk a day in their shoes. Students worked with their mentors throughout the morning, then gathered for a lunch at Gardner Village and to listen to Pyfer, the keynote speaker.

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Canyons Board of Education President Nancy Tingey, Vice President Steve Wrigley and Board member Clareen Arnold attended the event along with Superintendent Dr. Jim Briscoe, Associate Superintendents Dr. Bob Dowdle and Dr. Kathryn McCarrie and Work-based Learning Facilitators from all of Canyons’ high schools.

Some of the students found potential in their shadowed occupation, while others may have been less enthused. Either way is a win, Briscoe told the group.

“Today’s experience might help you make some decisions that might save you from changing majors later in college,” Briscoe said during his brief remarks. “It’s an amazing experience and it will help you get where you need to go. There are so many opportunities. Look for them.”

One student said completing a job shadow experience last year confirmed for her that it was not the career she was interested in pursuing. But this year, her experience was different. She was excited and thrilled to discover a new avenue in business that could also satisfy her creative side.

“It’s what I’ve been looking for,” said Lauren Wilson, a senior at Corner Canyon. “I found something that suits my needs and wants. I feel really good after this.”

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