GLHS Student at Eastland-Fairfield Shines in Spectrum Internship
Four Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools students in the Programming & Software Development program recently “cracked the code” to success by gaining valuable work experience in their field of study.
The students learned of an internship opportunity with cable and internet giant, Spectrum, during the spring of their junior year. Through its new 12-14 month internship program, Spectrum offers experience working at its call center, professional development, a flexible schedule during the school year, plus the ability to begin working and attend college at the same time. Additional benefits include competitive pay, up to $10,000 in college tuition reimbursement, and affordable health care.
After five weeks of full-time training, students became ready to begin working regularly throughout the summer. Then they were provided a flexible, part-time schedule to maintain during their senior year of high school.
Caden Mesina (Teays Valley), a senior from Ashville, said it was a great opportunity to get his foot in the door somewhere and that he has learned a lot through trial and error.
Gahanna-Lincoln senior Jack Kennedy, who chose the Programming & Software Development pathway at Eastland Career Center because of his love of networking, said he appreciates being able to educate customers about their services and why things work the way they do.
“I host two websites, so I already knew a lot about networking and it was nice that Spectrum recognized my knowledge by hiring me,” said Kennedy.
Like his classmates, Groveport Madison senior Daouda Sy (Groveport) is continuing to work now that school is back in session. Not only has he appreciated learning how large corporations operate, but the position has helped him improve his communication skills and increase his level of empathy.
“I talk more than I did previously and get my point across better. Every person is different and they take things differently, so I’ve learned how to connect with people based on their situation,” he said. “It’s important that we have empathy for someone who calls and is frustrated that their internet has been out for two days. We want them to have positive experiences with Spectrum.”
Sy is also grateful for the opportunity to learn at Eastland Career Center saying it has been a more fulfilling experience than traditional school.
He said, “I’ve learned a lot since coming here, and they are things that I can apply to real life.”
This group of Eastland-Fairfield students were among 15 Central Ohio high school seniors who were hired as part of a new internship program through Spectrum call centers around Columbus.
“The Customer Service High School Internship Program was a great opportunity for customer service locations like Columbus to access an additional talent pool,” said Courtney Campbell, Spectrum’s Vice President of Customer Service, Internet and Phone Repair. “It also creates a pipeline for high school students entering the workforce.”
We asked what each student plans to do after they graduate. The beauty of their answers is that each path is slightly different.
Kennedy is focused on creating a path for career progression. He shared that he will likely continue with Spectrum for a while but ultimately seeks to follow his passion for programming.
“I’m really into websites, systems, and applications, right now. But maybe one day in the future I’ll be operating servers,” said Kennedy.
Sy sees himself staying with Spectrum for the long haul. While he is looking for a future beyond the call center, he believes beginning early with an established company, adding to his education, and working his way up is the way to go. He plans to work for Spectrum for a few years. Then, he wants to use the tuition money awarded by the internship towards college and then apply that to building apps and websites at the company. And, maybe building video games on the side.
For Mesina, he knows he’ll likely go back to school but is not sure when. For now, he’s focused on making the most of his current opportunity to see what other doors open at Spectrum. Ideally, he is looking toward a career in the development field.
With Eastland-Fairfield and the work-based learning opportunities offered to them, these students may have been able to decrypt their future.
Programming & Software Development is a two-year program located at Eastland Career Center in Groveport, In this program, students use a variety of software to support their study of database design and management, software development, application/operating systems programming, and web programming. For more information about Programming & Software Development and all EFCTS high school programming, visit www.EastlandFairfield.com/programs.