AbbVie Technology Team Inspires CRSM Students to Become “Techies”

Jose Castaneda is one of those people who gets really excited about technology. At AbbVie Inc., where he is an Information Security/Business Systems Analyst, his boss says that “techies,” Jose’s colleagues who develop the technology, play a pivitol role in the “amazing things we do in health care.”

This fall, in tandem with the National Techies Day in October, Jose, his fellow team members, and George Gilliland, the Manager of the Business Technology Solutions Development Program at AbbVie, came to Cristo Rey St. Martin (CRSM) to encourage students to consider a career in technology.

Their hope: to spark student dreams of becoming code wizards at companies like AbbVie, Google or Facebook.

The event was timely considering that in the United States, tech jobs are predicted to grow 22 percent by 2020. While the types of technology positions range from health care and administration, software development to information security, this job sector is still on the rise.

Jose described how his love for technology is helping him make a difference in the world. AbbVie is a highly-focused, research-driven biopharmaceutical company that treats diseases and aims to make a remarkable impact on people’s lives. Business Technology Solutions (BTS) is at the intersection between the business of AbbVie and the technology of the future – accelerating, simplifying and amplifying on how AbbVie delivers on its promise.

“We wanted to get the students excited about what their lives can be not just in the next four or eight years, but after they graduate college,” said Jose, who has worked at AbbVie for two years. “We tried to give a wide scope of the opportunities that might pique their interests in the computer fields, like being a video game developer or creating apps.”

To that end, students participated in interactive make-your-own app storyboards. The AbbVie team staged a mock Shark Tank (ABC-TV’s critically acclaimed and multi-Emmy® Award-winning reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America).

In addition, the team answered the student’s questions about what to study in college if they want to pursue technology careers.

“We really just wanted to spark a passion in them,” said Jose.

A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Jose, age 27, is an experienced Information and Business Systems Analyst with a demonstrated history of working in the pharmaceutical software industry.

In previous years, AbbVie has held similar National Techies Day events at North Chicago High School, but decided to expand their reach and partner with CRSM. “Cristo Rey is focused on getting students to college and we want to help fuel the students’ passion about pursuing a career in IT,” said George. Cristo Rey St. Martin is a Corporate Work Study Partner with AbbVie.