“What’s My Line” Career Awareness Program


Jo Schmeiser CCGM Executive Director

When Jill Ripley, from BIE (Business, Industry, Education Alliance) asked me to participate in

the 2010 “What’s My Line” Career Awareness Program I wasn’t quite sure if my position as the Executive Director for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford is exciting enough to

keep 6th graders interested. 

Jill told me the purpose of the program is to provide an understanding of the diversity in our workplace, the many careers that one may choose, and the skills and knowledge needed to

succeed in those careers.  The career information lets students know what will be expected of them in the workplace and gives them an important reason to study harder in school.  Jill says research shows that students who start making decisions about their future attain better grades and maintain better attendance. 

I spoke with Alicia Hollis, a “What’s My Line” Veteran representing Kent Sussex Industries, and she assured me I would be fine, and would have a good time in the process.

My confirmation was emailed, and in return I was sent all the information I needed to be a

good “What’s My Line” participant, including the format, the schedule and many tips

concerning the types of occupational and interview questions I could expect. 

Right up until the time I went into my first (of three) classrooms, I was nervous.  My job requires me to speak in front of several adults often, however I have not been exposed to child filled classrooms before, so I found it a bit intimidating.  After all, the last thing I want my job to be viewed as is boring and un-cool.

A few days prior to the big day, I tried to figure out what I could do to set the chamber apart, and make my job cool like the detective, the paramedics, the artist and Mary from Milford Parks and Recreation.  

There it was right in front of me…the big scissors.  That’s right, I brought the big guns.  Not only did I bring the official ribbon cutting scissors, but packed enough ribbon to do mock ribbon cuttings in all three classes.  The kids loved it.  The Chamber of Commerce was a hit.

I also brought copies of the Milford Quality Living Book and Milford Maps, so I provided each student with a map, and a book and they were thrilled with those too. 

After the first class I was ready for the next, and the next, and before I knew it my day as a Mystery Guest was over.

A few weeks after my big classroom debut Jill sent me the thank you notes from some of the children, and in addition to many nice comments, every note mentioned the ribbon cutting.

So there Mary Betts, and your exciting and fun Milford Parks and Recreation equipment! 

Next year Jill will be looking for other area businesspersons to participate in the “What’s My Line” program, and I would highly recommend it.  It was an educational experience and a lot of fun.

For more information about the BIE, contact Jill Ripley at 303.739.4561 or jripley@bie.k12.de.us.  

For more information about the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford call 302.422.3344 or email milford@milfordchamber.com.