I organized a career day for our 8th graders near the end of the 2012-13 school year. The event featured over 30 speakers representing a wide range of careers. Our students had the opportunity to hear what it was like to be an employee in the video game industry, a boxer, a medical professional, and much more.
With help from the guidance office, I mobilized teachers at my school to get their personal contacts involved in the event. Once we had a list of speakers, I created a survey to allow our 400+ 8th grade students to select the speakers they would like to see (the form can be seen here). I used the results of the survey to give students personalized schedules that included as many of their top choices as possible.
The result was a grade level's worth of excited students that were able to spend a morning listening and learning from experienced professionals.