Career Exploration at USC


Andrew Drecnik , Staff Writer

Upper St. Clair high school has always made it one of their top priorities to help prepare students for not only their next step in education, but to also help them select a career. Career explorations are a program at Upper St. Clair high school where students can miss class and go experience different workplaces.  

There have been several career explorations field trips this year and the most recent one was to a company called Alphalab. 

Alphalab is a company located in downtown Pittsburgh dedicated to helping small companies grow and expand. Alphalab provides a dedicated workspace for all the companies that work there. Their facilities include workspaces, a kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower. 

The companies that work in Alphalab are diverse group companies with different products. There are companies that work with VR, software, clothes, and even technology for mice. 

Alphalab is a program partner with Startable Pittsburgh, the company that helps high school students experience what it’s like to work in entrepreneurship.

Upon arriving at Alphalab the high school students were greeted by Staci Offutt, a program associate with Startable Pittsburgh. Staci brought the students inside to the main lab and discussed the work that Alphalb does. 

“We’re kind of like a mini Shark Tank” Staci said when describing Alphalab’s role with the entrepreneurs. 

 Staci took the groups on a tour of the building allowing all the groups there to speak to the students. SwifTAG Systems was the first business to present. SwifTAG Systems was founded by Zachary Wright and their company makes little censors for mice and other small animals to wear. The censors will be used by scientists or students to track their mice so they can get data more easily. 

 The next company that talked with the group was Cassian Solutions. Cassian Solution is working on a phone case that can store medicine and remind you to take it at certain times. 

 They are also working on an app that will go along with their product and work with the phone case. The app’s job is to allow the user to verify that they have taken their medicine. You will also be able to set alarms and reminders on the app. 

 Collin Wolf is one of the founders of Cassian Solutions and he explained their product to the students, “The case can fit your medicine in it so you can carry it on the go with you.” 

 Lillian Vasilko, a junior at Upper St. Clair High School, had this to say about the field trip, “I liked seeing all the different businesses and what they were doing.”

For the entire day students were exposed to companies started off by adults fresh out of college. These entrepreneurs tried to provide some insight for these students so that one day they might start a business of their own.