The annual Lower North Coast Careers Expo means one thing for high school students- tertiary education and training opportunities become real.
This year's expo was no exception, with hundreds of high school and TAFE students packing into the Chatham High School hall to learn about what options are available when they leave school.
Chatham High School careers adviser James Cooper said the expo ensures students have access to a wide range of resources under one roof.
"This gives senior students pathways and options for getting ready for the future, such as university and employment," James said.
Non-education stalls, such as the Australian Defence Force and MidCoast Council, showed there is life outside of degrees and certificates.
"It's really important students know university isn't the only pathway to a job," James said.
"We always tell students about other options."
Post expo, James said students have a clearer view of what is required to reach their obtainable goals.
"Speaking face-to-face is valuable because it makes them understand what the options for them are," James said.
"It builds relationships, connections and their own confidence."
Chatham High School year 10 students Mayvee Tisdell and Brittney Cook explored all pathways possible to make their career prospects come true.
Keen to study law, Mayvee visited the Macquarie University, University of New England, University of Newcastle and Charles Sturt University stalls.
She said the expo helped her prepare for senior study.
It's good to see what I need to do in the next two years," Mayvee said.
"Theses are the most important years of high school."
Brittney received good advice from Macquarie University, University of New England and University of Newcastle about her plans to study nursing.
"They took me through what subjects I need to do like biology and advanced or general maths," Brittney said.
"I've got to look at which subjects will go towards my ATAR."
Jasmine Clissou recently arrived in the Manning from South Australia. The year 11 Taree High School student said the expo enhanced her knowledge of what post-school opportunities there are in NSW.
"I got some really good information about universities that I might want to go to," she said.
"I'm getting to know this area better and it's good to be able to find a nice place that I can go and do teaching."
Senior Constable Nathan Inwood and Senior Constable Brad McClifty from the NSW Police recruitment branch had their last stop of a five day statewide tour at Chatham High.
They were kept busy with inquisitive students.
"We've provided information to students who are interested in joining NSW Police," Nathan explained.
"The response has been very good, we've had a lot of interest, more than what we expected."
The duo found the response to be stronger in regional areas rather than Sydney.
"Being in the police force is a viable career option," he said.
Fourth year medical students Angus McClelland and Dominic Howell are currently based at Manning Hospital.
Speaking at the University of Newcastle stall, they shared personal insights to life as a university student.
"We've spoke to students about health, allied health and medicine and the long process involved with studying them," Angus said.
"We also talked to them about life in Newcastle and how great it is for a student."
"We've also stressed how hard you have to work in the HSC," Dominic added.
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