BEMIDJI -- Roughly a decade after he left, Ryan Moeskau walked back into the classroom at Bemidji High School.

But, instead of contemplating what he would do with his life, as he inevitably did the first time he was there, Moeskau showed up to share his experience as a working professional in the community.

Moeskau, a chiropractor with Upper Cervical Chiropractic, was one of 17 business leaders from around the Bemidji area who descended on the high school on Wednesday.

The CEOs in the Classroom event helps the upcoming generation of workers look a little beyond graduation day and begins to prepare them for the real world.

“The stories you tell today are really meaningful for us and really meaningful for our kids,” Brian Stefanich, director of the high school’s career academies, told the business leaders at the start of the program. The Bemidji Career Academies is a program within the high school that helps foster learning opportunities for students through area businesses.

Bemidji Career Academies Director Brian Stefanich, left, introduces Greater Bemidji Assistant Director Erin Echternach, center, and Bemidji Chamber Director Abby Randall during a "CEO in the Classroom" presentation on Wednesday morning. (Annalise Braught | Bemidji Pioneer)
Bemidji Career Academies Director Brian Stefanich, left, introduces Greater Bemidji Assistant Director Erin Echternach, center, and Bemidji Chamber Director Abby Randall during a "CEO in the Classroom" presentation on Wednesday morning. (Annalise Braught | Bemidji Pioneer)

The Bemidji Career Academies and the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce collaborated on the fourth annual CEO in the Classroom event.

After the larger group broke up and everyone went into their respective classrooms, the business professionals explained some of the logistics about functioning as an adult in the workforce.

Moeskau explained how even subtle things, like the strength of a handshake, can factor into someone's success in landing a job. Brian Bissonette, marketing supervisor with Paul Bunyan Communications, touched on elements of personal finance and being responsible with social media.

They also shared their personal stories about how they ended up in the careers they did. Moeskau told students about how he went to Bemidji State before going off to California to pursue his career as a chiropractor.

He also told how he didn't know what he wanted to do with his life while he was in high school or even when he was in college.

“When I was in your guys’ position...I had no idea no idea what I was doing. I just knew I was doing the college route,” Moeskau said.

Because of that, he encouraged the students in his classroom to take advantage of programs like the Career Academies. He said it's a good way to try a lot of different things without any financial consequences.

Terry Hewitt, the math teacher of the class Moeskau spoke in on Wednesday, reiterated the fact that it’s alright for students not to know right away what they want to do.

“Go for something. Try it out. See if you like it, but it's okay to change your mind. Most people change their minds many times before they really find something that they’re interested in,” Hewitt said.