Career Fright prepares students for the future — with a Harry Potter twist


BYU Careers and Experiential Learning taught Hogwarts-style classes during its annual Career Fright event, focusing on preparing students for future success.

On Friday, Oct. 30, career directors and staff dressed up as Professor Dumbledore, Gilderoy Lockhart, Helga Hufflepuff and more in a series of five to ten minute classes. The classes introduced the resources the Career Studio provides — including a career director for each major. Additional classes focused on networking and BYU Career Studio diversity events. Students could also complete a virtual escape room (the Triwizard Tournament).

Here is a list of the classes offered during Career Fright. They lasted from five to ten minutes. Students who participated in at least five classes received a free, six month Pass360 subscription. (Emma Gadeski)

Director of events and marketing Meghann Larkin said the purpose of Career Fright is to introduce students to the services BYU Careers and Experiential Learning provides. “We wanted to create a fun event to open our doors and have everyone come learn about our office and what we can do for our beautiful campus.”

The office chose event themes based on student feedback. “After last year’s event, we asked which theme students would want and the winner was Harry Potter. We did this theme back in 2016 and really loved it,” Larkin said. 

Career Studio director Justin Jones dressed up as Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore and introduced the Career Studio during the Hogwarts open house. “Whether it’s an internship at Gringotts or you want to become a guard at the prison of Azkaban, the Career Studio is a place for you to come and create your future,” he said.

Career Studio Director Justin Jones plays Albus Dumbledore and introduces students to the Career Studio. (Emma Gadeski)

Exploration specialist, or “prefect,” Brooke Taylor said her role is to help students explore careers, majors and themselves. “As wizards and Muggles alike, we tend to forget that step sometimes. It’s important to understand who we are so that we can make an impact in the wizarding world in whatever we choose to do.” 

One of the resources the Career Studio provides is a career director for each student based on their major. Students can find theirs here.

Career directors can help students with anything from networking to job interviewing, career director Derek Jack, or Gilderoy Lockhart, said in his Defense Against the Dark Arts class. “Now, career directors are indeed fantastic, but they clearly aren’t as talented as I am.”

Career Director Derek Jack plays Defense Against the Dark Arts professor Gilderoy Lockhart. He told students about how their career directors can help them prepare for the future. (Emma Gadeski)

Todd Russell, another career director, played Professor Slughorn’s American cousin, Todicius Slughorn. He discussed the 2 Hour Job Search and how BYU students can use BYU Connect and LinkedIn to network with alumni during the Potions class. 

Career Director Todd Russell, or Todicius Slughorn, shared some networking tips and encouraged students to use BYU Connect and LinkedIn. (Emma Gadeski)

Career Fright also focused on promoting BYU Career Services diversity events. Diversity is important at Hogwarts and at BYU, said career director Natalie Hansen, or Helga Hufflepuff.

She shared a quote from “someone in the Muggle World”  — Maya Angelou: “We should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter what their color (or house).”

Career Director Natalie Hansen played Helga Hufflepuff and shared a quote from Maya Angelou during her class on BYU Career Services diversity events. (Emma Gadeski)

Students also participated in a virtual escape room — The Triwizard Tournament — and complete three different tasks, solving riddles and puzzles. Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter even made an appearance.

In addition to classes, Career Fright had a fun, virtual escape room – the Triwizard Tournament. Students completed puzzles and riddles in a series of three tasks. The answer to this riddle was the fire in the room. (Emma Gadeski)
Here is another part of the virtual escape room. The answer to this riddle was the tent. (Emma Gadeski)
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