It was my great pleasure to visit the Bay Area last week and catch up with a few of our college scholars. Four students joined me for a group dinner in Palo Alto and then I had the chance to visit with some of them at their internship sites. It was a great trip and all of my visits this summer have really driven home how much our scholars are growing as leaders in Seattle and beyond. I’ve witnessed them gaining confidence as they seek out and win opportunities to grow. They’ve truly become ‘captains of their own ships’, working toward their future with thoughtful intention. There are not following a path someone else prescribed, but charting their own courses. Here are some highlights from my visit with each scholar.
Jamie Li Cohort I, Dartmouth ’13 is working full-time at Yahoo! in marketing. Jamie moved to the Bay Area after graduating last spring, and is coming up on her 1-year anniversary of living in “The Real World”! She has finished two of her three 6-month rotations in her marketing rotational program and she is learning what she likes and doesn’t like in her work. For example, Jamie learned that she actually really enjoys the analytical side of marketing and she is excited to become a data nerd. She is considering graduate school in business and might be taking the GMAT soon.
Winson Law - Cohort III, Middlebury College student is interning at Thinking Beyond Borders, a nonprofit education organization that empowers and inspires students through education to become meaningful agents of social change. Specifically they seek to increase participation in gap-year programs, especially among low-income communities of color. Winson’s research includes studying college access programs and he interviewed our friends at Prep for Prep and our very own Jolenta Coleman-Bush to better understand this work. Winson is living in San Francisco, and has experienced the joys (independence and experiencing life in “the city”) and challenges (expensive housing and reliance on public transport) that come with it. He has a deep appreciation of college access programs and is personally grateful for all the choices and opportunities Rainier Scholars has provided him. He will be factoring in this recent summer nonprofit experience as he explores social entrepreneurship and human-centered design as possible careers.
Ellen Wu - Cohort V, University of Washington student is interning at Facebook in software development and she “likes” it (pun intended). Her work started with a 2-week crash course in coding within the FB environment and now she’s working on developing a cool new mapping app (I can’t share any details as it’s probably proprietary.) The Facebook campus is unique and feels really young. Its seven buildings are arranged around a central lane, with restaurants, cafes and shops. Ellen led me on a tour and we crossed paths with founder Mark Zuckerberg twice. Ellen is having a great growth experience, she’s out of her comfort zone and soaking it all up. Next, she will evaluate whether she will continue to pursue a career in software.
Myles Jones - Cohort III, Seton Hall University student is interning at Google in HR. Myles put his Seton Hall tour guide skills to excellent use giving me a tour of “Googleplex.” He loves working there! There is a spring in his step and a genuine excitement to be part of all the amazing things Google is working on. He shared that his favorite new product is the self-driving cars, which I actually got to see driving around on the 101 freeway. Myles remarked that in this internship he can really be himself and it feels natural, fun and fulfilling.
Segen Haile - Cohort III, Santa Clara University student is interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers (a Big 4 accounting/audit firm). Segen is having a blast in her first internship at a dedicated accounting / audit firm and is happy to be making progress on the path she has been planning since the start of college. Segen is putting in a lot of hard work and doing well, and she’s hopeful that she might be able to continue her work with PWC beyond her internship. Segen definitely senses that life after college will be very different – she shared that her daily routine is to get up early, work all day, hit the gym, make a quick dinner, and go to sleep. Rinse, repeat. She has very little “free time” to pursue other interests, like reading, and it’s dawning on her just how fast time can pass by.