By Douglas Granados, Staff Writer
At Verbum Dei High School, it is well known that each student will work in a corporate setting for five days each month of his four years of secondary school, but there are some students who might not have off-campus positions. Some corporate partners employ teams of 1-5 students, which means that some students must work on campus at Verb if there is not a position for them at a job site.
Since some students don’t have an off-site position, the Corporate Work Study Program solicits new employers for those “jobless” students. The one person charged with this task – to find new corporate partners and to build relationships with them – is Joe Anlauf, Vice President of Corporate Recruitment.
“I have a strategy and pipeline of key jobs, and, systematically, I go after jobs that are on the pipeline,” said Anlauf.
Anlauf expanded VDHS’s corporate partnership by nine entities this year: Mount Saint Mary’s College (team of seven freshmen and nine sophomores), Office of Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino (two freshmen), California Resource Corporation (one freshman), Barnes & Thornburg (one freshman), Nazareth House (one student of each grade level), American Martyr Catholic Church (two freshmen and two sophomores), Chester Field Square Animal Shelter (five freshmen), Anonymous Content (one senior), and Vista Del Mar and Family Services (one student of each grade level).
“These jobs are very hard to get because it takes six-12 months to get and approve, and also we have to identify a supervisor in the company that is willing to be the quarterback on their end to help our students,” said Anlauf.
These new positions are often filled by incoming freshman who have probably never worked in companies, for sophomores who did not have a job the previous year, or just for students who are being transferred to a new position.
Students, employed off-campus for the first time, seem to find the new environments to their liking.
“It felt weird going to work because I have never worked in my life,” said David Penida, a freshman student intern at Mount Saint Mary’s College. “At first I felt shy and didn’t really try to interact with the people at my job, but now it’s my third month working at my job, and I really like it. I am enjoying the experience I have, and I hope I get to keep this job for all my high school years.”
“Last year I did not get the experience to work at a job outside of Verb, and so far I have liked the experience of being able to work outside of Verb,” said Andrew Ceja, sophomore student intern at American Martyr Catholic Church. “It shows me what the work place is, and I’m learning ways on how to act and work at a work site.”
Ceja, like his schoolmate Penida, hopes to keep his job for the remainder of his high school years.