Grade nine students learn about parents’ workplaces on Take Our Kids to Work Day

Schools & Students

It's not every day that high school students get to spend a school day at the office, but when Mandelena Chetty went to work with her father for Take Our Kids to Work Day, she got to experience what he does for a living and learn how his company works together. 

Held annual on the first Wednesday in November, Take Our Kids to Work Day is an opportunity for more than 200,000 Grade 9 students across Canada to visit the day in the workplace of a parent, relative, friend or volunteer. They experience and learn about the world of work, helping them make informed educational decisions. 

Mandelena, a Sir Winston Churchill Secondary student, spent the day with her father, Selvan Chetty, who is the director of finance and business support at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel.  

She joined a group of other Grade 9 students at the hotel that day. They started their day with a health and safety orientation followed by a tour of the hotel. Students whose parents wore uniforms were fitted for uniforms themselves, but Mandelena didn’t get one because her dad wears his own suits to work.  

The students had a chance to talk with hotel staff during the tour, before spending some time in housekeeping and catering. After a cooking demonstration, Mandelena and the other students helped make cookie sandwiches and tomato bread rolls.  

“My favourite part was going to the kitchen,” she says. “I really like cooking. The bread rolls were hard to make. You had to roll it and all the sauce was falling out.” 

After lunch with her father, she spent the afternoon going to meetings with him. The day ended with a graduation ceremony for the visiting students.  

For Churchill Secondary and other high schools, encouraging students to take part in Take Our Kids to Work Day fits in with the Grade 9 Career Education course . 

“Some of the big ideas for this course include thinking about career paths and the personal and educational choices they make,” says Churchill counsellor Jackie Dowling. “Take Our Kids to Work Day allows students to learn more about the working world and hopefully it may spark some inspiration for their future careers.” 

For Mandelena's father, it was also a chance to share his work life with his family. “When I get home, I don't have time to discuss the work environment, the types of meetings I go to or the initiatives we work on,” said Selvan Chetty. "On a day-to-day basis, my family doesn't have a great understanding of the work involved and what I do. When she was at my office, she got a broad range of understanding of different parts of the business.” 

“I've heard what he does before but now I got to see how the company works together to achieve a common goal,” says Mandelena. “He's really good at his job and I like learning what he does. I like seeing how the whole workplace works together.”  

Mandelena is still leaning to a career in teaching or law, but her father isn’t upset she won’t follow in his footsteps. 

“I would encourage her to follow her own path,” he says. “I’m happy she was able to see our corporate values in play, that we trust each other and support each other. I think she likes seeing what I do, but she knows where her talents are. It was a thrill to have her here at the office.”  

Take Our Kids to Work Day 2017