Senior Brianna C. worked at William Blair during her freshman and sophomore years before the pandemic cut her experience short. Even while the students’ school and work remained virtual in 2020-2021, Trish Rothman and the William Blair team stayed in touch with their former student team to provide monthly mentoring, career exploration and personal growth opportunities. Though William Blair was unable to host students in the office during 2021-2022, they chose to continue their monthly sessions and recently came out to the school to tour the new Purcell Innovation Center and have lunch with the students.
Brianna now works in the Cristo Rey Advancement Office, where she supports the team in event planning, database management, and file organization. Her reflection on the impact of Trish and the William Blair team speaks to her four-year journey through the Corporate Work Study Program:
Being fourteen and creating a relationship with a company and company manger was one of the most terrifying things I had to carry out. But looking back now as a senior at Cristo Rey, I realize that was one of the most life changing experience I could ever ask for. I would never imagine that at the age of fourteen I would be dealing with company receipts, calling hotels, and even meeting with professionals on a day-to-day basis. William Blair and especially Trish Rothman have continued to guide me on a path of success not only in the workplace but also in my own individual path. While working at William Blair my freshman year and most my Sophomore year, Trish always managed to create new projects for me to see William Blair’s workplace in different perspectives. From working at my desk, to helping IT, restocking, and even working with food services it showed me different responsibilities each section of the company must maintain. Having to cut my CWSP experience short sophomore year was a bummer, because I looked forward to coming into work and the environment William Blair had provided.
Despite the changes, the start of COVID gave me a closer relationship with Trish and also a closer relationship to William Blair and many of my coworkers and other student workers. A bond was created through the monthly sessions and mentorship. Trish did not have to have monthly sessions during quarantine; she could have continued to focus on how to manage her company at such a hard time. But she wanted to continue the student worker relationship and managed to create monthly sessions that went over simple and entertaining topics many teenagers and adults should know about. From mental health to learning about IT security, these monthly sessions allowed us to take a breather from school and allowed us to explore more career-based or even life information we should know. From sophomore year to now, I have not only taken tips from each lesson, but I have also developed mentors as well.
Being online for school all of junior year had its ups and downs. I was glad to use quarantine to learn and be more in tune with myself, but I hated how much I had to sit all day behind a screen. Even though our monthly sessions were online, Trish invited many guests to come talk about their professions and it allowed us to be in a breather space where we didn’t have to focus on school. My favorite session by far is the yoga sessions. Imagine yoga sessions over a screen! I genuinely loved it and it just shows that we can have such a terrible year but its how you make the most out of it! With the mentorship Trish set up, I was able to communicate with William Blair employees who just graduated from college and are now working at William Blair. It also allowed me to get a real perspective from someone who went to college and what the hardships and prosperity college can bring. It also allowed me to decipher more about what I wanted to do and talk with my mentor about how to manage my time and balance everything.
With my senior year almost over, I’m grateful for all the ways Trish and William Blair have supported me. From creating LinkedIn accounts and even lunch meetings, I genuinely loved every bit of it. Especially recently seeing Trish Rothman and Rocio Aldana for a lunch meeting! Seeing them gave me a spark of joy and gratitude, because the amount of time and effort all three of us have put in to have such a wonderful bond!
Thank you to William Blair, Trish, and all of our CWSP partners who go above and beyond as they develop our students! If you are interested in further engaging with your student team, please reach out to your Relationship Manager for ideas.