By: Catherine Portman, VP, Treasury
At Palo Alto Networks, we are excited to be entering our fifth year of partnership with the Cristo Rey San Jose Work Study Program (CRSJ-WSP)! We’ve just welcomed 14 high school students to our Santa Clara headquarters who will be working with us over the 2022-2023 academic year. Including this group of future professionals, we will have hosted 52 student placements since 2018!
The Cristo Rey San Jose High School is one of 38 schools in the national Cristo Rey network dedicated to providing a blend of academic enrichment and professional work experience that prepares underrepresented youth to succeed. In addition to a full curriculum of classes, all students work one day a week with a corporate, public sector, or nonprofit partner. Students receive support from the CRSJ-WSP administrative team and faculty, their work study supervisors and mentors—and of course their families.
Many of these rising stars will be the first in their families to go to college. And, they will have a leg up on their collegiate classmates because of the unique work study experience they will have—in addition to the exceptional academic rigor they will draw upon.
As a supervisor of a student worker, and through my volunteer service as a board member of Cristo Rey San Jose High School, I know firsthand how impactful this program is. Students gain real-world work skills and deliver actual results to their work placement. Beyond the professional outcomes, it’s personally enriching to see how much the students - and supervisors - can grow over the course of the academic year.
Join me in welcoming our latest work study participants and acknowledging their supervisors and supporters.
- Ariana C., a senior working with Catherine Portman, Julie Chiu and Kent Nichols on the Treasury team.
- Angel A., a senior working with Jennifer Yarbrough in Supply Chain management.
- Arely R. a junior working with Jeff Rangel on the Corporate Responsibility team.
- Destinee C., a sophomore working with Ann Hoang and Natalie Fakhreddine in Sales Communications.
- Diego M., a freshperson working with Lindsay Fazzino on the Global Talent Development team.
- Emily E., a junior working with Josh Paul and Brianna Pistor in the Accounting function.
- Jaime H., a sophomore working with LaTrece Johnson, Kathryn Kasprow and Sadaf Yamin in the Legal department.
- Kendra R., a freshperson working with Bryant Park in Internal Audit.
- Jose A., a junior working with Daniel MacDonough and Hien La in the IT department.
- Francisco G. a junior is working with Pavan Shivakumar
- Leonel S. a freshperson is working with Winnie Kaspar
- Benjamin Le a senior is working with Sivasekharan Rajasekaran
- Elladavina M. a senior working with Kumar Ramachandran and Monica Refy
- Leo MG. a junior is working with Navneet Singh
While it’s always exciting to welcome new student workers during their high school journey, I’m particularly proud that we have taken our partnership beyond the core work study program. We’ve hosted three CRSJ alumni during their college summers through our Internship Program and been able to find ways to further impact their professional journeys. One of the alumni had been a student worker at Palo Alto Networks which was even more rewarding. As alumni complete their studies and graduate, I’ll be even more excited to see them apply for full-time roles through our Early-in-Career program.
Here’s what Valeria Galvan, former CRSJ-WSP student worker, summer intern and senior at UCLA had to say, “My personal CWSP experience at Palo Alto Networks was beyond transformational. During my high school internship, my team (Hardware, Quality and Compliance Engineering) not only exposed me to potential career paths and introduced me to the world of data analysis but they helped guide me through the college process as well. I had weekly sessions with coworkers who gave me advice on how to navigate college; and, when I finally committed to college, my coworkers dedicated one of our daily morning meetings to fun facts about my college. After high school, I continued working with Palo Alto Networks as a full-time intern during the summer and part time during the school year and my team has continuously supported my academic and professional growth. I am now majoring in statistics hoping to continue working in the data analysis field. I know that the relationships I have formed through the CWSP are long lasting and have impacted my life for the better. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have had thanks to the CWSP.”
The CRSJ-WSP partnership is an ideal fit for Palo Alto Networks social impact and inclusion and diversity programs. We’re doing our part to enable the workforce of the future to be uniquely prepared to help solve the cybersecurity challenges of tomorrow. To learn more about this program, visit Cristo Rey San Jose Work Study Program or watch this short video.