Job Fair for the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program

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All photos by James Edward.

On Friday, 350 enthusiastic Plano ISD teens ditched their comfy-casual school garb for business attire as they embarked on a real-world Job Fair with hopes of landing a coveted spot in the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program. Resumes in hand, the rising juniors and seniors tackled tough questions from top business and nonprofit employers looking to fill 116 paid internship spots. Approximately 60 employers were on hand, including McAfee, which is demonstrating its commitment to STEM education by offering a record 19 internships in engineering, business development, marketing and other departments! During the Job Fair, employers conducted more than 800 interviews. The event was held at the Collin College Spring Creek Conference Center.

In his remarks to the employers and students, Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere thanked JPMorgan Chase for coming on board as the program’s Job Fair sponsor and for underwriting 20 internships in the healthcare and technology fields. He also lauded the company, which will be opening a new building in Legacy West later this year that will house 6,000 employees, for  “its commitment to reach out and help the Plano community and its youth.”

“I can think of no better way to celebrate this new beginning than by sponsoring today’s Job Fair,” said Don Perez, executive director of JPMorgan Chase, global real estate, Americas south region. “Programs like the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program address youth employment and workforce development in an innovative way. So we applaud Mayor LaRosiliere and all the donors and participating companies for making these opportunities possible!”

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Don Perez, executive director of JPMorgan Chase, global real estate, Americas south region; Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere; and Jeff Johnson, Chase Bank, market director.

Local businesses continue to support the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program, which has been sponsored by Capital One since its 2014 launch.

“This is the third year AdvoCare has participated, and it’s been a great experience for us,” said Harrison Tassopoulos, community relations manager at AdvoCare. “We really enjoy exposing students to how a mid-sized company works and showing them how a product goes from an idea to something that consumers use in their daily lives to reach their health and wellness goals.”

Zach Beever, an associate HR manager for PepsiCo/Frito-Lay, personally knows the value of being an intern.

“I joined PepsiCo as an intern myself so I’m very passionate for all our intern programs and their ability to develop and bring new talent into organizations,” he added.

Ethel Jernigan, a clinical social worker at Children’s Medical Center Plano can hardly hold back her enthusiasm for the program.

“Great kids. Smart kids. Hard to choose just one kid – we could take 12! I love this program – I love it, love it, love it!,” said Jernigan.

Lauryn Brown, a junior at Plano West High School who interned at Intel Security last year, is just one of the many students appreciative of the remarkable opportunities given through this program.

“The Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship Program definitely sets me apart from the rest,” said Lauryn. “I’ve spoken to individuals in the business world, and when I tell them I had an internship experience before my junior year in high school they said that was very valuable. I knew I had to do this again!”

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Kamishk Adarkar, a junior at Plano Senior High, is back even though he didn’t land an internship last year. But he’s confident – and credits his past experience along with the comprehensive intern prep training he received.

“I tried last year and didn’t get in, so I’m back again! I learned a lot about the interview process that I plan to apply this year,” said Kamishk. “I’m really excited because I’ve since learned from friends what a great experience it was. I’m big into engineering and business and want to learn about the corporate world.”

The “earn and learn” experience gives outstanding Plano ISD students an opportunity to earn a minimum of $9 an hour for 20-40-hours weekly. The summer internship program runs eight weeks from June 12 through Aug. 4 and concludes with a celebratory luncheon on July 31.

Mayor LaRosiliere, who went around the Job Fair thanking employers and taking selfie photos with students, offered a few words of wisdom.

“Remember we talked about the Last Second Shot in Life about 6 weeks ago, so take your shot today.  I hope you are prepared,” said Mayor LaRosiliere. “And lastly – remember this is not your last shot in life. It is just the shot you are taking today. . . .you will have more shots in life.”

To learn more about the Plano Mayor’s Summer Internship, go to planomayorsinterns.org.