WINCHESTER, Va. - Two Middle East District professionals returned to James Wood High School today to speak to juniors and seniors headed to college. Jerry Henry graduated from James Wood and Qing Xu returned for the second year as a career day speaker.
Both are engineers by education, but have followed very different paths: Henry is a section chief and supervisor for Information Management Division and Xu is a civil engineer with city planner and transportation engineer experience.
About 300 students filed through rooms in smaller groups with presenters featuring speakers from a wide variety of career fields. There were three presentations by each speaker.
“The students were mostly fully engaged and interacted with the speakers,” said Henry, who was paired with a music education presenter from Shenandoah University presenter. “At first, we thought our careers were a strange mix but as we went through the presentations, we realized technology was the common denominator and we worked well together.”
Xu was paired with a robotics and automation presenter. “A lot of students expressed their interest in pursuing engineering even before the event,” she said. “By explaining city planning, design, the construction process and the recent development on LEED [Leadership on Energy and Environmental Design], we hope we could help them better define and make their career choices.”