By Christina Zheng
A year ago, I didn’t even know that Genesys Works existed. Through the invitation from a friend and fellow intern this year, I found out about this invaluable opportunity to learn, grow, and experience more than just being a student in high school. As a junior well-aware of the college application process that was to come for me the following year, my attention was focused on my schoolwork. I had plans to attend college, and I needed to make sure my academics were still creating a solid foundation for my post-secondary education plans. I would get to be the first in my family to attend college, so this aspiration means a lot to me. I’m also pretty proactive and curious, looking for new experiences that I’d want to get involved in. Because of that, I decided to apply to Genesys Works. At that point, I was unsure if I wanted to take on this internship opportunity. It would mean sacrificing my tennis team commitment that I had kept since 7th grade and balancing my time and responsibilities to my studies and an internship.
After I was selected to participate with 300 other students out of more than 1,000 that applied in the metro area, I decided I was going to have to make some sacrifices my senior year in order to participate. Ever since making that decision, I have no regrets choosing to participate in Genesys Works. This program has played an influential role in my growth outside the classroom. The skills, experience, and relationships that I have gained with the help of this program were all things that weren’t taught inside the classroom. I received a different opportunity with Genesys Works to grow my interpersonal skills, communicate with confidence, and become an advocate for myself in the professional world, in addition to learning technical skills. These were not skills I had before I took on this journey, nor was I taught them in school as necessary, valuable, and life-long skills to have.
Genesys Works has played a huge part in my own personal development, and I believe this program has the ability to make a huge difference in students’ lives. It makes a way for students like me to gain exposure in the corporate setting, take on new challenges, and learn to be an advocate for themselves. Now, halfway through my senior year and well into my corporate internship at Prime Therapeutics, I value even more the exposure and experience I receive from being a part of this experience. It has taught me so much that the classroom setting can’t teach – such as your presence as an individual and as a team member in the real world after high school. The immense support from my program coordinators, supervisors, and mentors have helped me step out of my comfort zone and take on challenges that I would’ve never thought to overcome before. I’m so thankful for all of the opportunities, growth, relationships, and support Genesys Works has given me since I said “yes” to this program.
Christina Zheng is a Class of 2021 intern who currently holds a position at Prime Therapeutics. She is also a student ambassador for the Genesys Works program, seeking to recruit the next class of young professionals from her high school, Woodbury High School.