West Springfield HS Students Visit GSA
Twenty-seven West Springfield High School students attended a business tour and mentorship/job shadowing day at the General Services Administration Information Technology Department on November 20th. The students had the opportunity to see an open-concept government office, cutting-edge technology, and discuss careers and internships in the IT field. Fourteen business professionals volunteered their time to meet with the students to discuss their current jobs, future internship opportunities and provide examples of their current work/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 (CIO), David Shive, who shared good advice for the students. He advised the students to first be prepared, build technical knowledge then once you are in the workplace use the resources around you , help others and don’t burn any bridges, because people will remember how you treat them.
The student response was overwhelming positive. After the event, they 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 staff, Taneisha Ng, Information Technology teacher and Becky Cousins, Employment and Transition Representative, organized this event. This trip was funded with a work-based learning grant from the Foundation of Fairfax County.