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SAISD students earn cybersecurity and marketing internship with Jungle Disk

Jungle Disk
Jungle Disk CEO Bret Piatt welcomes 21 students and recent graduates as summer interns.

This summer, 21 San Antonio ISD students and recent graduates earned a paid, four-week internship with local cybersecurity company, Jungle Disk. This is the first time that Jungle Disk has offered internships at the high school level.

The initiative, which began July 9 at Highlands High School, is the result of a collaborative effort between San Antonio City Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, SA Works, SAISD Foundation and the District.

“District 3 is excited to be part of a pioneering partnership with Jungle Disk, SAISD and SA Works to offer South Side high school students with real-world experience, working side-by-side with cybersecurity analysts,” said Councilwoman Viagran. “Our global community relies on digital technology to conduct business and these paid internships will allow our youth to gain a better understanding of complex processes that affect our economy and daily lives. This collaborative initiative is a chance to provide students in San Antonio access to valuable opportunities in this growing industry.”

The interns are working 20 hours per week from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., earning $9 an hour. Paychecks are being issued every two weeks by the SAISD Foundation, who is the fiscal agent for the internship.

The interns are gaining job experience in marketing and cybersecurity, while also benefitting from daily mentoring and practicing the marketable skills of team collaboration and public speaking. They also are learning about the responsibility that comes with earning a paycheck – including banking, saving and filing taxes.

Jungle Disk employees and their college interns are serving as program mentors and are working with the high school interns for a portion of each day, both onsite and remotely.

“There is a growing demand for tech and cybersecurity talent in San Antonio and we are thrilled to play a part in sparking interest in technology at the high school level through internship programs like this one, training academies and mentorship,” said Bret Piatt, CEO at Jungle Disk. “We are honored to have a role in training the workforce of tomorrow and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for these kids!”

Most of the interns are high school seniors or recent graduates of Highlands High School, from the engineering magnet or business career pathways. Three of the interns are from neighboring Edison and Jefferson high schools who are interested in IT and robotics.

“I appreciate all the partners who came together and made this opportunity a reality for our students,” said SAISD Trustee Debra Guerrero. “Our students will be gaining relevant and practical technology experience with Jungle Disk, which prepares them for a successful trajectory – first to college, and then to high-demand careers.”

“San Antonio’s unique ability to collaborate across sectors gives these 21 students an opportunity to apply what they learn in school to careers in technology and marketing. We applaud Jungle Disk, SAISD and Councilwoman Viagran for their creativity and collaboration in putting together this internship model that can be applied throughout the city,” said SA Works Executive Director Romanita Matta-Barrera. “This group of students is part of the nearly 300 high school students placed by SA Works in paid internships this summer.”

The internship was designed for participants to gain an understanding of Jungle Disk’s cybersecurity product suite and devise marketing plans to promote its components including backup software, an online password manager, a core cloud backup service, and email archiving.

Participants are being divided into four teams that will each study one component of the cybersecurity product suite. Teams are researching how the product works and why businesses need it to assess the competitive landscape and to best market Jungle Disk’s product. Every Friday, teams are presenting their progress to the entire group.

During the final week, teams will prepare and present marketing campaigns for their products.