Colleen Bennett - Sotheby's International Realty

Guest Speakers Help Students Fish for Exciting Careers at La Verne Heights Career Day

March 22, 2010
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Century 21 Realtor Marty Rodriguez relished returning to school on Career Day at La Verne Heights Elementary School.

Century 21 Realtor Marty Rodriguez relished returning to school on Career Day at La Verne Heights Elementary School.

March 20 wasn’t just another filet ‘o fish Friday at McDonald’s. It also marked Career Day at La Verne Heights, a day in which students heard lawyers, dentists, police officers, attorneys, real estate agents and other professionals share what they do for a living.

“I think about 70% of our guest speakers were parents,” said La Verne Heights Principal Gary Temkin. “Exposing students to different careers and professions is a valuable part of their education. You never know what’s going to spark a lifelong interest, so it was great to attract the variety of speakers that we did.

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In the class that LaVerneOnline.com sat in, we heard Century 21 Realtor Marty Rodriguez tell students that her agents have rules to follow similar to the ones their teachers have laid down for them.

“Respect your fellow students, work as a team and always strive for excellence,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez told the kids that she loved selling different things as a child, which led to her longtime career in real estate as an adult.

“You remind me when I was young,” she said “ I sold candy, cookies, Christmas cards. Whatever I was selling, I wanted to be the best at it.

“Now my job is to sell houses, and after 32 years, I still love selling.”

She went on to tell students they too had a job, but it was different from hers.

“Your No. 1 job right now is to learn how to read, write, and do math well, and to earn good grades,” Rodriguez said. “You’re going to need all those tools when you begin working.

Rodriguez addressed a class in which her grandaughter is a top student.

Rodriguez addressed a class in which her grandaughter is a top student.

“Someday,” she added, “you’re going to have a family and a job, but it all starts in this classroom and what you learn today, so pay attention and listen to your teachers and parents because they’re working really hard to make you successful.’

Then the students Rodriguez addressed got a full dose of her trademark positivism.

“I get up every day and I can hardly wait to go to work,” she said. “People trust me with their lives, their money, their families and their biggest investments. That’s why I don’t want to make any mistakes and always want to do the best job I can for them.”

One student asked if her job was hard.

“I don’t see any part of my job as being hard,” she replied before reminding herself of so-called professionals who don’t return phone calls promptly or don’t understand contracts and other aspects of the job as well as they should.

“But don’t ever say something is hard; then you’ll never want to do it,” she counseled the student. “Find a way to make it easy. But don’t ever say you can’t do something. Can’t is a bad word.”

In the two classes she addressed,  students began sharing what they wanted to do when they grow up. Students wanted to be Olympians, gymnasts and engineers. One wanted to be the President of the United States. Another wanted to be real estate agent,” just like the lady” speaking. Rodriguez had made another sale.

“I never stop selling,” Rodriguez said outside the classroom.

And the students on Career Day at La Verne Heights never stopped learning about all the wonderful careers and professionals available to them. It just takes a dream, good guidance and a lot of hard work.

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