Exploration and a New Interest Sparked: Matthias’s Story

Matthias at Big Dog Ranch Rescue Front DeskInterested in culture, history, and photography, it’s no wonder high school student Matthias dreams of becoming a travel ambassador one day. Matthias first came to employU in March of 2021 and enrolled in our virtual career camp.  Through career camp, Matthias was able to hear from guest speakers from a variety of industries and explore possible careers. He also discovered that he would like to participate in an active career exploration position that would assist him in gaining confidence in his communication skills.  

After hearing this, his Transition Coordinator, Kimberly Halhober, found an opportunity for an On-the-Job Training at Big Dog Ranch Rescue as a visitor center information desk/greeter. Matthias would be able to practice communicating with guests through this position so it was a perfect fit. His positive and optimistic attitude shown through when accomplishing his job duties during this OJT which included greeting guests entering establishment, determining the nature and purpose of their visit, and directing or escorting them to specific destinations. These duties allowed Matthias to practice interpersonal skills such as giving guests his full attention and asking questions needed to effectively direct guests. Soft skills such as practicing time management and teamwork are also skills Matthias has grown in through this OJT.  

After a successful first day at his OJT, Matthias expressed how grateful he was for this opportunity. Not only was he able to improve his communication skills by having positive and professional interactions with guests, but he also found a new interest. Now interested in learning more about working with animals, Matthias may have just found a new possible career path to explore! We are excited to see where this new interest leads Matthias and look forward to seeing what he will accomplish next. For more information on our On-the-Job Trainings go to https://employu.org/youth-paid-work-based-learning/