Hands-on learning at local companies gives students taste of a variety of careers
San Antonio’s fourth annual SA Works Job Shadow Day was held on Feb. 5 and matched nearly 3,000 San Antonio students with more than 100 local employers for a half-day of onsite experience-based learning. More than 500 SAISD students participated in the community-wide event that provided students insight into different industries, career paths and skills that employers value.
“I believe it is important for students to get as much exposure to industry as possible,” said Michael Ramirez, graphic arts teacher at Brackenridge High School. “I believe if our students can get into a company like H-E-B where they are constantly changing and using new technologies, it is going to be easier when they come out of high school to maintain and build upon those relationships once they go into the workforce or college.”
Students from Brackenridge, along with six other SAISD high schools, had the opportunity to tour and get hands-on experience at companies including H-E-B, CPS Energy, VIA, Security Service Federal Credit Union, and Bank of America, among others.
“The fact that the company we visited today, H-E-B, is one of the largest companies and best companies to work for made this an ideal experience for our students,” said Cassandra Gonzales, magnet coordinator at Brackenridge HS. “Seeing the work that the students are doing in Brackenridge’s open-to-the-public print shop and letting them connect those experiences with the real world experiences of a Fortune 500 Company really makes sense.”
Brandi Calderon, a junior in the Brackenridge Media and Film Institute, said it was really interesting for her to see similar material that she learned about in class actually used in a corporate setting.
“I learn better seeing things in action, so having this experience gets me excited about the field of graphic design and production,” she said. “I would definitely recommend this experience to other students.
Participating in Job Shadow Day not only allowed students to connect with the world of work, but it also provided employers the chance to communicate with students about the benefits of working in their respective industries. Local companies have the opportunity to nurture the future workforce, encouraging a stronger emphasis on the professional skills and knowledge they seek in a skilled labor force.