“Because of Walgreens and CWSP, I am on track to have an internship in my dream job.”

Erik, a senior who works at Walgreens Boots Alliance and will be attending Elmhurst College in the fall.  This is the speech he delivered at our Evening of Gratitude to our Business Partners on May 9, 2018.

Good evening, my name Is Erik. I am very happy to be speaking to you all today. I am a transfer student. When I was in progress of transferring, I knew that this school and their partnered companies would give me this unique experience that not many high school students get to have. Within my two years, I’ve worked for two nonprofits: the YWCA and North Chicago Learn Charter School. I’ve also worked for two corporations: UL and currently, I work in the talent acquisition department in HR at Walgreens. I’m very blessed to be given all of the opportunities to work at all these companies, and I am very thankful.

Although I was very excited to be in a professional work place, I was very nervous to go to work my first day at the YMCA. My supervisor, Cheryl, welcomed me with open arms. She showed patience and showed me what trust was. She trusted a coworker and I to file papers, to organize boxes and to get our job done. This meant a lot to me because I was just starting my first placement and for a person giving me their trust, it truly gave me confidence.

My experience at Walgreens really taught me the importance of networking. My supervisor, Jim, assigned me to look at resumes and search for candidates on LinkedIn for a role at Walgreens. He then told me that later on he actually gave the people that I chose a call. That completely shocked me. I didn’t know that companies did this. I was surprised that a company actually reaches out to a person rather than vice versa. But what surprised me even more, was that again, I was given trust right away. Afterwards, on my own time, I did my own research. I ended up coming in contact with a recruiter at Treyarch studios in Santa Clara, California. My dream job is to become a videogame designer. Because of Walgreens and CWSP, I am now on track to have an internship with them next spring.

The work study program focuses on us becoming purposeful professionals, and it has definitely done so. I’ve learned time management at UL with making sure ALT texts were completed right away, responsibility at YWCA with accepting my initial mistakes, communication with talking to all my coworkers, and how to do quality work with checking in with supervisors on my work.

Not only did my coworkers help me grow as a worker, but they engaged with me and welcomed me. They’ve been great about mentoring me and asking me about my future. Jim from Walgreens, Ashley from North Chicago Learn Charter School, Eddie from UL, Cheryl from YWCA, thank you. They were all people who specifically took a lot of their time to get to know me and show that they genuinely cared about me. That was truly a gratifying experience.

CWSP quickly showed me how blessed I am along with the rest of the Cristo Rey students. Once again, thank you to all the companies that have given me the opportunity to work there.  Your faith in us students truly means the most to us. Have a wonderful evening.