High school can be an interesting time in someone’s life. It can be a period of self-discovery and growth in personal maturity. An era where individuals begin making their own decisions while simultaneously baring the least amount of responsibility. But as time goes on and high school comes to a close, many people go about preparing themselves for adulthood. Part of this is planning for the future, answering what one’s own career might be, what to do to achieve it and where to go to get there.
In a small town like Jefferson City, young people might feel stuck. While there are places in the city that one might be able to flourish, to most, Jefferson City feels cramped. For a teenager it can be hard to find anything entertaining to do in this area, let alone a potential future. Add that on to the eighteen or so years spent growing up in “Jeff,” it’s easy to understand why some might see their hometown as played out. They feel like they’ve seen all the place has to offer and want to explore opportunities outside the city limits. However, with some determination and an open mind, one can find a numerous amount of outlets to explore while staying close to Jefferson City and within Missouri. Each offering a different experience that allows the person to discover who they are and what they plan to do in life.
(PHOTO EDITORIAL, by Kaden Quinn, is titled “Teen Maura Shimmens reports in a journalism career while others have to wait years.”)
College is the outlet that for the majority of people seems like the next logical step. This is because people already come from an educated background and plan to continue their learning and venture into earning a degree in the career of their choosing. There are universities abound within the state, in cities that provide a bustling metropolis to explore, new relationships to grow in and careers to pursue. To name a few, Missouri State University in Springfield, the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City, and Washington University and St. Louis University in St. Louis. And for those who want a new start in a different space but don’t want to be too far from home, schools like the University of Missouri in Columbia, known for its world-renowned journalism program, or William Woods in Fulton, with their powerhouse equestrian program, could be the perfect environment.
It would also be wise to consider a career in the U.S. military. Not only is it a very honorable profession but a very prosperous one. It allows for young men and women to travel the world, train to defend their country and develop responsibility in a position of authority. The two most well-known military bases in the state of Missouri are Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base. Fort Leonard Wood is a United States Army Base located in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, south of Jefferson City. It is known as the “Maneuver Support Center of Excellence.” The Whiteman Air Force Base (WAFB) located west of Jefferson City, near Kansas City, is defined by their mission statement “execute strategic deterrence, global strike and combat support…anytime, anywhere!” If a military career is a prospect for the future, recruitment offices are located all over the state.
After graduation, if one wants to gain a familiarity with the career they plan to pursue, an internship could be something to look into. Missouri is the home base of many Fortune 1000 companies. Some of the most well-known of these are in St. Louis, Missouri. Multi-billion dollar companies such as Express Scripts, Ameren, Boeing, Panera Bread, General Motors and Energizer are just a few businesses that are household names represented across the country. Of course, the famous Anheuser-Busch beer company also calls St. Louis home.
Beyond that are companies that offer a more creative outlet. According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, in recent years several gaming development companies branched out to the St. Louis area. Among said companies are Riot Games, Graphite Labs, Simutronics, and the renowned Bethesda Game Studios, as well as start-up companies like Butterscotch Shenanigans.
Upon high school graduation, vast opportunities are within reach to Jefferson City natives. Whether the goal is to stay close to home while experiencing independence, or traveling the world with Missouri as a home base, the young adults of this town are afforded many sought after experiences that will help them to flourish. Whether you’re an aspiring artist, equestrian, ESPN commentator, scholar with dreams of being a professor, Missouri has something for you.