Beyond day-to-day work: creative ways Cristo Rey works with students on professional development

Behind the scenes at Cristo Rey St. Martin, the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP) staff works tirelessly to find ways to meet our students where they are in their professional career development. This fall, there are a variety of workshops and seminars going on at CRSM targeted to each different grade level. We are so appreciative to the business partners and volunteers who work with our CWSP staff to identify and execute creative ways to coach students on skills that they will use their entire lives.

Here is a re-cap of the events happening this fall:

  • On September 28 in the morning, CWSP hosted a Personal Branding and Professional Networking workshop for all seniors.  In preparation for the workshop, all students prepared a LinkedIn profile for themselves. The students heard from and worked with various professionals on how to use social media as a tool to present their personal brand and to network with professionals.  Thanks to our guests for volunteering their time: Reagan Craven, Director, University Relations & Early Career Team at AbbVie; Patti Bries, Career Strategist; Jim Connell, President, Craftsman Media; Maria Teal, Relationship Manager, LinkedIn Talent Solutions; and representatives from Brooksource, an IT hiring, recruiting and staffing company.
  • Also on September 28th, sophomores attended a workshop at CRSM on becoming purposeful professionals, learning how traits such as ownership, productivity and communication are skills that we can all improve upon throughout our entire lives.   In preparation, students wrote a reflection on how they have changed over the past year because of the CWSP. Activities in the workshop helped sophomores not only identify how they might be a better employee at their current job, but also how they can connect what they are learning with setting personal SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals.
  • On October 26th, CWSP business partner Discover and Cristo Rey are hosting Discover Cares day and all of our junior class will participate alongside professionals from Discover. The day combines service, education and professional development for both the students and the Discover volunteers. Students will build their public speaking and team building skills in this creative collaboration workshop.
  • Also on October 26th, the CWSP is hosting a career coaching session for the freshmen, checking in with them once they have had 10-15 days of work.  Included in this session are both group and individual coaching sessions reflecting on their job placement with CWSP. Using the research of Dr. Amy Cuddy (social psychologist, bestselling author, and Harvard professor), the students also work on their body language and presence and discuss how that impacts people’s impressions of them.

Outside of the all-class required professional development sessions listed above, on September 21st, AbbVie’s IT Development Program partnered with Cristo Rey St. Martin to host our 2nd Techies Day. The afternoon workshop was optional for CRSM freshmen and sophomores; students worked with AbbVie mentors to learn about the technology field and create Shark Tank presentations.