The responsibilities that come with higher levels of education are never easy, especially for teenagers in high school like me who often have to balance a full day of schoolwork, extracurricular activities, personal obligations and sometimes a job in an attempt to build their résumé before they leave fast-food jobs behind to enter the corporate workforce.
However, there is a school that allows students to build a corporate résumé before even leaving high school. This school is Cristo Rey Fort Worth College Prep, a school from which I will be graduating this year and have had the honor of being a part of since its opening year in 2018. Through Cristo Rey’s Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), all of the students at this school, including myself, have been able to develop corporate résumés that will give us an edge in the job search, even before starting college.
The work experience I’ve received here at GM Financial (GMF) has been incredibly valuable. Every student who has worked here this year, and in years past, has learned much from the experience. One of the most valuable things I’ve learned this year while working in the Marketing and Communications department is something I’ve heard from almost everyone I’ve met. I’ve been told numerous times in job shadowing sessions that I should “make connections.” I’ve learned that who you know can heavily impact where you go in life. Other Cristo Rey seniors have also learned valuable lessons from their assigned departments this year:
“I’ve learned that companies like GMF have interest in giving back to their communities through volunteering. It was great to learn that they make giving back to their local communities a priority.”
-Angelica Elizalde, Human Resources
Meanwhile, returning student, Amber Castaneda, remarked on some new skills she’s learned this year.
“Coding isn’t really as complicated as I thought it would be. It just takes a lot of time and practice, and I’ve gotten to work on managing projects, creating dashboards and analytics, which has given me some great practice that I need for the future.”
“Also, everyone is so friendly and incredibly welcoming. I would compare GMF’s friendly environment to one big family. They’ve given me great examples of what work-life balance should look like.”
-Amber Castaneda, Dealer Resources
Aside from skills learned, students also become more aware of opportunities they have for the future. Wanting to pursue an English major in college, I thought the only job for me was to become a teacher. However, my experience in marketing has shown me that there’s so much more I can do with writing. I owe it to GMF for showing me so many possibilities for what I can become.
The other Cristo Rey students feel the same way. Each student I talked to said they would recommend their peers to work at GMF in the future. Some students even say they may want to work here themselves.
“If GMF has open internships or full-time positions after I graduate from college, I will definitely be interested.”
-Keith Eubanks, Cybersecurity
Overall, the Cristo Rey students working at GMF have found the experience to be very beneficial. One common reference during my interviews with the other students was how organized everything was while also feeling close-knit and at home. Opportunities have presented themselves to us that we would’ve never had otherwise. Thank you to the CWSP of Cristo Rey and also to the team members of GMF who were willing to take us on and let us work for them. My peers and I will always be grateful for this opportunity to gain experience and grow as individuals.