The season of change is upon us. And while the temperatures in Houston are still unsure, our young professionals are embracing the transition. By now, after about two months in to their new corporate internship, they’ve likely discovered some of the nuances of a professional environment and have dived deeper into their technical craft, whether that be in an accounting, IT, or helpdesk role.
On top of a full-time school schedule and part-time job, students are also beginning to apply to colleges and consider the many decisions that accompany this process: what school they will go to, how they will pay for it, and even who they want to become. Fortunately, Genesys Works interns can count on their program coordinator to be their full-access college and career coach. Our dedicated program staff cumulatively spends more than 10,000 hours a year providing personalized, one-on-one coaching to help each one of our interns explore their postsecondary options, fill out college applications and financial aid forms, and apply for scholarships.
In September, we enjoyed the opportunity to reconnect with many of you and some of our former interns at the first-ever Ambassadors Luncheon. The sold-out event featured highly engaging table talks led by Genesys Works alumni, emphasizing the importance of early and equal access to professional opportunities. We’re proud to share that the luncheon surpassed its gross fundraising goal, raising over $220,000 to support Genesys Works’ mission. Click here to check out some of the highlights from that afternoon.
As we move into fall and the season of giving, we hope that you will consider making a gift to Genesys Works. Each gift helps to support our signature high-touch, high-impact program. More importantly, it helps to create real pathways to career success and economic self-sufficiency for over 200 Houston-area students each year. Donate here today.
Save the Date
On Saturday, November 9, The Tasting Room in Uptown Park will expand to over 40,000 square feet of outdoor tents filled with Houston’s favorite wines, restaurants, live music, and more. The best part? 100% of the proceeds will benefit Genesys Works! Click below to purchase tickets and be sure to use discount code GENESYSWORKS2019 for 20% off your purchase!
Alumni Spotlight: Belen Cosme
Since completing her high school internship, Belen Cosme has been busy adding experience to her resume, going to school, and even volunteering with Genesys Works. As a high school intern, Belen worked at Kinder Morgan in their IT department. Her former program coordinator, Lisa, remembers, “Belen was a quick-learner, strong communicator, and pleasant to work with from the beginning. Her team at Kinder Morgan was very excited to have Belen on their team and handling the phone processing for the company.”
The experience Belen gained at Kinder Morgan has helped her go far. Since then, she has held two internships and is currently working as a college intern in the IT department at Service Corporation International. “My Genesys Works internship set the foundation for my work ethic,” shared Belen. “Thanks to my high school internship manager, I was able to learn and work on a lot of skills I already had but needed to refine for my new corporate environment.”
Currently, Belen stays busy juggling work and finishing up her degree in Management Information Systems at the University of Houston. In December she’ll graduate and is excited to see what’s next after college. “Post-graduation I would like to join a fortune 500 company, pursue an MBA after gaining two years of work experience, and, later in my career, become a woman in leadership” said Belen. With her skills and experience, we have no doubt that Belen will go on to lead and inspire aspiring business women for years to come.
Corporate Partner Spotlight: AIG
We know that AIG is in the business of helping clients prepare for what’s next. What might be lesser known, however, is how AIG is helping the workforce of tomorrow prepare for what’s next on their college and career paths. Since 2012, AIG has provided meaningful work experience to 102 Houston-area high school students through the Genesys Works internship program. This year, 25 young professionals were given opportunities to work across the Life & Retirement, Group Retirement and Retirement Services areas, gaining real-world experience and a head-start on their career goals.
Edgar Castillo, current Production Support Analyst with AIG and class of 2008 GW intern, recently shared what Genesys Works and AIG have meant to him. “Genesys Works offered me the tools, support and guidance to maintain an edge over my peers throughout college,” Edgar said. “AIG provided a diverse workplace environment, work-life balance, and leadership that is invested in developing and grooming its professionals.”
Not only has AIG provided meaning work experience for interns year over year, the company has also made a commitment to giving back through corporate sponsorships. Most recently, AIG was a presenting sponsor at the first-ever Ambassadors Luncheon. With their gift, Genesys Works was able to come together with Houston’s business leaders and Genesys Works alumni to discuss opportunity, access, and the importance of mentorship.
Supervisor Spotlight: Stacey Batiste
Supervisors like Stacey Batiste, Manager of Organizational Effectiveness and Change Management at Cheniere, are making a difference in the lives of Houston’s future workforce. Stacey, and all supervisors, provide mentorship and meaningful work experience for our interns. Our summer skills training program provides a foundation for success; however, the internship is where our young professionals put the skills they’ve learned into practice and where the hands-on learning magic happens.
Stacey understands that a meaningful experience can result in increased confidence, in-demand job skills and elevated career aspirations. Her intern, Raul Cardenas (C’19) said, “Stacey has taught me that being organized will help me a lot in the corporate world, and she always reminds me to create a to do list for everything and try to check everything off as soon as possible. Stacey is always open to me asking questions about work and school, or giving me some advice about life. She really made me feel welcome and helped break me out of my comfort zone. Stacey is a huge reason why I have succeeded during my internship.”
Recently, Stacey volunteered her time to lend some valuable insight into what makes an internship experience great. See what she and some of our other awesome supervisors had to say here.
In Case You Missed It!
Have you heard the news? Soft skills are in! Check out this article in the Houston Chronicle to see how Genesys Works is teaching young professionals the soft skills that today’s businesses are looking for.
When we talk about how our partner companies are making an impact, what we’re really talking about are the individuals within those companies who supervise, mentor and make our young professionals feel welcome every day. Check out this video to learn more about Genesys Works from the perspectives of some of our dedicated supervisors.
Some of you may remember Aline from our last newsletter. Check out this Grads of Life feature on Forbes to read more about Aline’s incredible story and the growth that can happen at the intersection of motivation and opportunity.