By SUNNY LOCKWOOD
Students from Bret Harte High School in Angels Camp got some first-hand advice on making the switch from high school to the working world yesterday.
Four classes of seniors including one group from Vallecito High School throughout the day heard a "Success Panel" made up of local professional and business people discussing the world of work and answering questions on how to be successful.
Dentist Joana Motiu of San Andreas described changing careers from occupational therapy to dentistry at the age of 26.
The students wanted to know if the change had caused any negative repercussions in her life.
"Not at all," she said. "You have to enjoy what you are doing if you're to be good at it."
Electrical contractor Jim Heryford from Murphys gave the kids tips on how to dress for an employment interview in the construction trades: "Clean jeans. No rips. No sagging. T-shirt tucked in. No piercings or tattoos. And please have your boots tied."
Heryford, who grew up in the Mother Lode, assured the students that one can make a living and raise a family in this area.
Financial representative David Bowman of Murphys talked about inner qualities of success, such as integrity and balance.
"Never confuse making a living with having a life," he said, quoting a saying from his favorite Eddie Bauer coffee mug.
It was that quote that impressed 17-year-old Jamie Brubaker, a Bret Harte student from Hathaway Pines.
"I've had lots of jobs, so I know how to dress, but I have to think about the difference between making a living and having a life," she said. "I want to be successful, but I sometimes worry that I can't be successful and be happy. But now I have something to think about."
Alex Salgado, 17, said he thought the students could have asked more questions during the presentation, but he liked what he heard.
"I learned you've got to dress for success. No tattoos or piercings," he said. "It was useful."
Salgado said he hopes to work for himself in the Angels Camp area, which is his home.