West Springfield HS Students Visit GSA for Tour, Job Shadowing
Twenty-seven West Springfield High students attended a business tour and mentorship-job shadowing day at the General Services Administration Information Technology department. The students saw an open-concept government office, cutting-edge technology, and discussed careers and internships in the IT field. Fourteen business professionals volunteered their time to meet with the students to discuss their current jobs and future internship opportunities and provide examples of their current work and work environment. The students also got a chance to share their resumes and solicited feedback from the professionals. The field trip concluded with a networking lunch and closing remarks from GSA's Chief Information Officer David Shive, who shared his advice for the students. He advised the students to first be prepared, build technical knowledge, then once in the workplace to use the available resources, help others, and don’t burn any bridges, because people will remember how they are treated. The student response was overwhelmingly positive. Afterwards, students wanted to know when they could go back to do this again. In a follow-up note to his mentor, one student wrote, "Right now, I'm undecided on my career and being able to see your work and environment has given me new options on what to pursue." Rachel Surrick and Andy Riordan from GSA IT, in collaboration with West Springfield High information technology teacher Taneisha Ng and employment and transition representative Becky Cousins organized the event. This trip was funded with a work-based learning grant from the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools. Contact Rebecca Cousins at email@example.com.