Megan Tatum is a Career Development Specialist with the South Dakota Department of Education. The Capital Journal was curious about what she does, so we asked her some questions.
Q. What exactly do you do?
A. I work in the division of career and technical education at the South Dakota Department of Education. I consider myself the state’s cheerleader for SDMyLife.com. This online portal for exploring career and postsecondary options is available at no cost to all South Dakota students in grades six through 12. I work with educators to help them effectively use this tool with their students.
Q. What are your responsibilities?
A. My main goal is to support schools in preparing their students for postsecondary education and the workforce. We want students to know what careers are out there, which careers they might want to pursue, and what education and training they’ll need to get the job. Students can use SDMyLife to develop their goals for the future and then connect those goals to their extracurricular activities, work experiences and academic plans.
Q. What is one of the more fun aspects of your job?
A. I love working with educators. One of my coworkers, Andrea Diehm, and I really enjoy developing engaging presentations with activities that educators can use in their own classrooms. At a recent educator conference (pictured), we led a session about grab-and-go career activities. We worked with a cooking theme and dressed up as chefs because we find that when you have fun with learning, it helps the information “stick” for adults as much as it does for students.
Q. What is one of the worst aspects of your job?
A. I think the ‘worst’ aspect of my job would be that we don’t have 100 percent of South Dakota students using SDMyLife to its full potential. It has so many activities and resources to help students navigate that whole postsecondary and career decision-making process before they graduate high school, so that after high school they really understand what their next steps should be.