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Recent JPPSS Graduates Sound Off in National ‘Gen Z’ Panel Discussion

Two Jefferson Parish Public School System alumni shared their perspectives on going to college with an audience of education professionals from around the world at BbWorld 2017, an annual conference hosted by leading education technology company Blackboard Inc.

During the session, “Gen Z Panel: Changing expectations and perceptions of today’s students,” Class of 2017 Haynes Academy graduates Charlie Magaw and Erick Burgess discussed their decision-making process, perceptions, and expectations about college.

Charlie Magaw spoke about the importance of internships when making his college decision.

Magaw is an incoming freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Burgess will attend Tulane University. They were joined on the panel by students from across the country considering a multitude of options that ranged from gap years and Ivy League institutions to possibly skipping college altogether in order to start a business.

Part of Blackboard’s annual conference that was hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center this year, the panel offered attendees insight into how today’s recent high school graduates view communications, what they look for as they evaluate their college selection, and what “student success” means to them.

Erick Burgess said more students should take advantage of guidance counselors while navigating high school.

Magaw said internships were a major part of his college selection process.

“I visited campus and talked to people and asked, ‘What are your opportunities? When can I get a job?’” Magaw told the attendees. “Am I just going to be focused on learning the whole four years or can I get a job and get actual experience?”

Burgess offered plenty of good advice to those in attendance, but arguably his best recommendation came for students still in high school.

“One of my biggest resources was my guidance counselor,” Burgess shared with the audience. “She was right there for us to talk to. I don’t think enough students do that.”