Other Plano teens may have had a case of spring fever this past weekend, but for 360 Plano ISD students it was “business as usual.” Barely past dawn, they headed to the Capital One Conference Center to attend a Saturday “training camp” in preparation of landing a coveted spot in the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program. Launched in 2014, the internship program provides opportunities for Plano high school students to work eight-week paid internships running June 12-Aug. 4 at area businesses and nonprofits.
For a fourth year, Alliance Data heroically sponsored and led the rigorous, day-long instructional program. Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, bolstered with an extra shot of his beloved espresso, gave his annual pep talk entitled “Game Time – Your Future, Be Prepared” and shared a favorite formula for success (see image). The gregarious Garrett Shipman, a community relations specialist with Alliance Data, emceed the day, led the mock interviewing sessions and guided the 50-plus business and community volunteers who shared their wisdom with the teens. Also on hand was Paul Littlejohn, a marketing executive for the northeast Texas district for Capital One, the presenting sponsor of the internship program.
“This is one of my favorite days and a key reason why Alliance Data supports the Plano Mayor’s Internship Program,” said Shipman. “These exceptional students quickly wake up and embrace the terrific information shared by the business and community leaders here in Plano. It’s fun to watch the transformation of these young people.”
Highlights of the day included a “tell-it-like-it-is” panel discussion featuring students who interned last summer at Intel, Capital One, Frisco Roughriders, Plano Chamber of Commerce and NTT Data. Also, Minh Nguyen, a sophomore at McMillen High School, won the rap contest that Mayor LaRosiliere offered up to the students. His prize is lunch with the Mayor!
Other high points included the Plano Chamber of Commerce and Capital One leading powerful presentations on topics like “Selling Yourself: A Strong Resume and a 60-Second Elevator Pitch” and “Developing Your Professional Persona.” And a Plano ISD leader provided an extra punch with a session on “Behavioral Interviewing.”
After devouring the lunch generously provided by Kroger, students put their newly honed skills to the test in mock interviews with executives from Ericsson, PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, Liberty Mutual, Capital One, Alliance Data and Plano ISD.
All this knowledge will come in handy as the students head to the Job Fair on Friday, April 28, from 4-7 p.m. at Collin College’s Spring Creek Conference Center. With resumes in hand and elevator speeches polished, all 360 students will undergo interviews with the participating companies.
Mayor LaRosiliere is still seeking businesses to participate in the program. For more information, go to planomayorsinterns.org or contact Vicki Wait at [email protected] or 214-577-7975.