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Career Fair Leads to Shadow Day with FBI for One Senior

January 20, 2023
By Lake Catholic

The second annual Career Fair, which took place right before the Thanksgiving break, offered the entire Lake Catholic student body a chance to talk to many different professionals to get a glimpse of a few careers that might be options for them as they move on to the next steps of their lives.

For one senior, though, the Career Fair ended up being a springboard to a professional shadow day over the Christmas break, a set-up for his senior project and introductions to key contacts for a possible career after college.

David Mordini, who wants to have a career as a government analyst or investigator, turned a conversation at the Career Fair into a day at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland Field Office and said he hopes it turns into much more after graduation.

“Two days after Career Day, Mrs. (Brandi) Mandzak (Lake Catholic theology teacher) called me and told me I was going to be able to get into the FBI headquarters,” Mordini said. “I freaked out.”

Mrs. Mandzak’s husband, Thomas Mandzak, who is the Captain in the Cleveland Division of Police, was the key contact for Mordini. He spoke with him at the Career Fair because of his interest in criminology and criminal justice.

“I want to be an analyst or an investigator,” Mordini said. “So, I was talking to Mr. Mandzak about possibly doing my senior project with the Cleveland Police.”

It was from that conversation that turned into his five-hour day at the Cleveland Field Office of the FBI. Mordini was with one of the FBI’s analysts, as she gave him a tour of the entire facility and introduced him to many members of the office – surveillance teams, cybersecurity, bilingual agents and international security.

“Even though each group has different roles and responsibilities, most all of them work in a big bullpen area,” Mordini said. “Everyone works together. They are all part of the same team.”

He also was given a look at the office’s clinic, drone room, media/conference room, gym, and cafeteria. He met a few of the lawyers, and the supervisor of specialized agents.

“The supervisor of specialized agents oversees all the agents,” he said. “We got to talk for a little bit. She gave me her card and even told me to reach out to her once I’m ready to take the FBI entrance exam.”

For now, Mordini will focus on finishing his senior year, including completing his senior project with the police and/or FBI, but then hopes to study criminology and criminal justice, probably at Kent State University, he said. 

It’s a career path that might have been accelerated because of one simple conversation.

“Career day was initially started as a means to extend the senior project,” said Mrs. Mary Ridler, Technology and Innovation Department Chair and Career Fair coordinator. “It allows students an opportunity to connect with different careers prior to graduation. The hope is to make the connections with the career day speakers in the field of their choice and to allow an opportunity for our seniors to engage in those careers for even just a week (senior project) for a 'real life ' introduction to that professional world.”


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