Santa Clara University


 NPI Fellows

The NPI Fellows are students who participate in an internship with our NPI community partners. There are a total of five internships that are offered each quarter. These are the testimonies of students who have interned.

  •  Bianca Velez ‘16 (Cristo Rey Jesuit High School)

    2015 NPI Fellow
    Major: Business Management 
    Minors: Entrepreneurship, Sociology
    Hometown: Sacramento, CA
    Interests: Non-profit business management, legal solutions to social issues, travel 
    Organization/department you are working in: Cristo Rey San Jose Jesuit High School, Corporate Work-Study Program

    As a Management and Program Logistics Intern with the Corporate Work Study Program, I perform a variety tasks to improve the operations of the program and to help the students increase their productivity in the workplace. In Winter Quarter, I created a Retraining Program to rehabilitate students who struggled in the workplace, and were unfortunately let go. This was challenging as each student I worked had unique circumstances and required a specialized program. The first two students that completed the Retraining Program were extremely successful, and were able to be reintegrated in the workplace. After some motivation, both made great progress and have been nominated for “Employee of the Month” at their respective new workplaces. I also was able to do “One-on-One Interviews” with the students, collecting feedback about their jobs and comparing it to feedback from their supervisors with them. This Spring Quarter, my project was to create a five week Summer Training Program for incoming freshmen to prepare them to join the corporate world, introducing the students to the tasks and behavior that will be expected of them in their entry-level corporate positions. My completed Training Program is spelled out comprehensively in a 200+ page binder that includes daily lesson plans, interactive exercises and PowerPoints to aid the instructors in teaching a variety of hard- and soft- skills. This is by far my greatest contribution to Cristo Rey. I am very proud of my work, and I am very excited to see how the program turns out this summer. The lessons include: 

    1. Attention to detail and accuracy 12. Motivation, attitude, and goals
    2. Business writing 13. Notetaking
    3. Communication skills 14. Office machines
    4. Customer serivce 15. Performance evaluations
    5. Document processing 16. Personality profiles
    6. Email etiquette 17. Phones
    7. Filing 18. Professionalism and ethics
    8. First impressions 19. Public speaking
    9. Google Apps: Gmail, Google documents,
    Spreadsheets, Google Drive
    20. Resumes
    10. Listening skills 21. Typing
    11. Microsoft Suite: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word 22. Workplace safety training

    For some of the students, Cristo Rey is the best thing that has ever happened to them. If it wasn’t for Cristo Rey, they would probably fall between the cracks somewhere else, and they would not shine. These students will be leaders, and now they have so many more options than they would otherwise. Education is the key to creating economic self-sufficiency, and this is what Cristo Rey wants to bring to San José. The Cristo Rey education model sets high expectations for students, challenging them to make daily improvement. Students understand that they can do better in everything they do, refining a strong work ethic and increasing self esteem.

    Cristo Rey students are from low income families that would not have the financial opportunity to attend a private, college preparatory high school. The Cristo Rey education model is revolutionizing the urban schooling system, and 100% of Cristo Rey graduates get accepted to college. I am very proud to have played a role in the development of this program. 

    Through my work at Cristo Rey, I utilized my education as well as enhanced my understanding of business disciplines learned in business courses. The brief education of microeconomics I learned in Econ 2, helped me develop an understanding of the complex economics of low income communities, and the business leadership techniques learned in the course sequence Busn 70-72 helped me act appropriately in my leadership role at Cristo Rey, as well as aid me in compiling lesson plans to adequately teach business leadership skills to students. Of course, my understanding of organizational management gained in Mgmt 160 as well as project management, Mgmt 179, came in handy. Working with a small, educational start up required a background in business ethics and management since maintaining coworker relations and strong ethical behavior was required to do my job well. To complete the Summer Training Program, I treated it as a project and utilized the skills I learned in my project management course to complete the project on schedule in accordance with the triple constraint.

  •  Karisma Garcia-Valencia '15 (Office of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo)

    2014 NPI Fellow
    Major(s)/Minor(s): Finance and Political Science
    Hometown: Turlock, CA
    Interests/Hobbies: Social Justice, Traveling, Outdoor Activities 

    Activities Involved in On-Campus: Christian Life Community, Contemplative Leadership and Sustainability Program, Intramural Soccer

    How I came to work on NPI and what I've learned: During the spring of my freshman year, several friends shared with me their experiences of establishing NPI and building the initial relationships in the Washington community. I was drawn to the opportunity to translate what I was learning in the classroom to a real life application and became a part of the initiative in winter 2013. Our class worked closely with Yolanda's Market in pursuit of implementing changes to the business that Yolanda, the owner, could sustain. Over the span of the quarter, I learned a great amount and ultimately realized how this project was not as black and white as the assignments given in my business courses. There are many unforeseen factors in the real world, and it takes great communication and flexibility to develop objectives and change direction when needed. I have continued working with NPI this quarter and am excited for what the future holds.

    Karisma Garcia-Valencia


  •  Hailey Bazlen, '15 (Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits)

    2014 NPI Fellow
    Hometown: Woodinville, WA
    Interest/Hobbies: I love horseback riding, skiing, hiking, and camping.

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship:
    At Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits (SVCN) I worked with marketing and communication orientated tasks. I developed and implemented a social media plan for SVCN which included generating meaningful, relevant, and original posts for SVCN and HandsOn Tech Silicon Valley's social media platforms. Additionally, I helped promote events, updated the websites, and even co-hosted a social media webinar with a coworker.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    Every day the digital network of SVCN and HandsOn Tech supporters is growing. I was able to significantly raise the number of fans on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google + which provides the organizations with more engaged followers. The goal of this engagement is advocacy, meaning that the people who follow the organization are likely to actively support your cause. I helped SVCN and HandsOn Tech get their names out there so more people would know about the organizations and there would be greater attendance at the events.

    In what ways did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your LSB courses?
    Before this internship, I had only had academic experience with marketing. This position gave me the opportunity to do marketing in an independent and flexible atmosphere. I was able to find new skills by independently creating the social media plan, and my coworkers were very flexible with ideas of where I could take it. I began to notice that when I would learn something particularly interesting in my business classes, I would wonder how it relates to SVCN. I feel much more confident in my marketing and business skills after this internship.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    The team I worked with and the independence they gave me were the most beneficial aspects. When I first began working at SVCN, I was nervous about posting live content to the websites and social media pages. By the end of my internship, I was confident enough to teach people how to make the most effective use of social media marketing. While a lot of what I did was independent work, the internship would not have been the same without the great team I worked with. All of my coworkers trusted me and were so passionate about their job. The team also always included me in trips such as a technology training events at LinkedIn. Together, the independence that I was given and the great team that I worked with were the most beneficial aspects of this experience.


  •  Sean Roe, '15 (San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo's Office)

    2014 NPI Fellow
    OMIS and Spanish/International Business
    Hometown: Mill Creek, WA
    Interests/Hobbies: hiking, guitar, piano, geography, aviation, church ministry

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship:
    I had the honor of serving Legislative District 3 of San Jose - Sam Liccardo as a Council Assistant. My everyday tasks varied from attending Rules and Open Government Committee Meetings to walking and talking to constituents throughout District 3. Occasionally I used my Spanish to advertise for neighborhood council meetings, while other times I put my boots on and distributed trash bags and granola bars to needy people in the Tully Road homeless encampment. I literally had to be ready for anything.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    My big project was undertaking our district's participation in the citywide Great American Litter Pick Up for Earth Day 2014. I was able to coordinate with city leaders and nearly 100 volunteers to aid in garbage pickups in the Gardner and Selma-Olinder neighborhoods. The event was a huge success! I also was able to explore inefficiencies in the city's permitting and planning department. I recognized how several efforts were already being made within the city to increase inefficiencies. Although I wasn't able to redesign the system, I was able to do valuable research and look into more efficient permitting and planning systems around the country.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    Overall, this experience was most valuable to me because it gave me a candid behind the scenes perspective of any city's largest advocate and hindrance for aid to the poor, underserved and marginalized. I was able to witness the ways that cities pass legislation and leverage their resources to either help or not help people who need it most. Although I am not pursuing a political career, I know that being a man of service will always play an important role in my business career. While many corporations make social sustainability a company priority, many do not. Now that I have an insider’s perspective on how government works, I know I can be an advocate or liaison between government and corporations.

  •  Gonzalo Jose Salguero, '15 (Washington Elementary School)

    2014 NPI Fellow
    Political Science and Economics
    Hometown: Bell, CA
    Interests/Hobbies: I love to play soccer and watch movies, listen to music and play video games. 

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship:
    In my internship Washington Elementary School with the NPI program I tutored, mentored, and organized presentations on financial literacy to a group of 40 4th and 5th grade boys.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    I think I helped the students at Washington Elementary School by being there for them as a mentor and a person to look up to. I was able to introduce them to new and educational ideas that could push them in the direction they need to be going to help them succeed in their educational careers.

    In what ways did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your LSB courses?
    One connection I could make with the environment at Washington Elementary School is the disparity and inequality we see in education in low-income neighborhoods with schools that do not receive the funding necessary to really provide an education that could compete with private schools.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    What was most beneficial was being able to give back to a community and school that is very similar to my background and where I am from. Teaching these students about interesting topics that could begin to give them ideas of what careers and options are out there for them and that they have the abilities to achieve their dreams.


  •  Peter Thai, '15 (CET Industrial Relations)

    2014 NPI Fellow
    Major/Minor(s): Accounting/Economics
    Hometown: San Jose, CA
    Interests/hobbies: running, basketball, TV shows, outdoor activities, electronic dance music.

    Give a brief summary of your responsibilities/tasks in the internship:
    My responsibility in the internship was assisting my supervisor with anything that the department could use help with ranging from simple tasks of organizing files and folders to making calls to CET alumni about their job status, and conducting job verifications. The highlighting tasks that I had were interacting with students and providing tips on how to answer interview questions in a effective manner. I also advised and critiqued students and assisted them in resume building and cover letter writing.

    How do you think you made positive contributions to the department/organization?
    I thought that the organization itself did a great job in the department I was working in. For positive contributions, I helped bring my ideas in terms of what method effectively presented information to these students. I thought that because most of them were underprivileged and carried themselves not as confidently, treating them as adults when teaching them was really effective.

    In what ways did this experience enhance or connect to what you are learning in your LSB courses?
    I would say my experience enhanced more about what LSB prepares us for as future professionals in the business world. In terms of communication, you can never really stop learning and improving oneself as you only get better over time. I also believe my skills in resume writing and answering interview questions have improved for a broader range of jobs since I discovered that different jobs focused more on looking at different skills in one’s resume.

    What was the most beneficial aspect of this experience for you?
    Although redundant, the most beneficial aspect of this experience was interacting with these students that impacted me in terms of understanding the minds and experiences of the CET students. I would definitely say my passion for helping the community has rekindled and working with such great supervisors, I was definitely inspired as well.

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