Conexion – High School Career Fair @ LCPA

 

Cisco’s Conexion spearheads another successful career fair at the Latino College Preparatory Academy in San Jose, CA.

On Friday March 13th over 100 high school students and professionals gathered as Conexion and the Latino College Preparatory Academy (LCPA) produced another successful career fair. The day started with a warm welcome by Conexion San Jose Chapter Director of Talent Pipeline Jessica Ruvalcaba (Americas Channel Marketing Manager at Cisco).

She then introduced Jose Lazares Jr., Sr. Director of Business Development Application Integration Solutions Group at Cisco. Mr. Lazares delivered an open, honest and passionate keynote where he talked about his non-traditional route to corporate success in the tech arena. His authentic messages of determination and perseverance truly kept the audience of high school juniors and seniors engaged. It was impressive to hear his narrative of how he consistently overcame obstacles through his journey and it was also refreshing to see how well the students responded to his candid candor. Silicon Valley Latino was able to conduct a brief interview with Jose at the conclusion of his remarks, we will be bring one that to our audiences soon.

After the keynote, the students were broken-up into a couple of different groups where they either participated in a mock interview or career group discussion. Conexion and Silicon Valley Latino sent out invitations to several groups in an effort to engage them to participate in this special event.

We were delighted to see that many Silicon Valley Latino “Cultura Ambassadors” conduct the mock interviews and career group discussions. This empowerment event certainly resonates with Silicon Valley Latino’s own mission and that is why we decided to roll up our sleeves and assist Conexion and the LCPA in the production of this worthy cause. We would also like to thank many of the collaborators who made this special day possible starting with the planning committee and Cisco’ Conexion, Jessica Ruvalcaba ( Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Esmeralda Barriga Gonzalez (Conexion San Jose Chapter co-lead), Raul Lomeli (LCPA Director), Saira Canales (LCPA Head Counselor), Jorge Calixto (Cisco) , Jessica Graham (Cisco), Paula Garcia (Cisco) and Alex Ontiveros (Silicon Valley Latino) as well as Keynote Speaker Jose Lazares Jr. and the event video production crew Robert Alvarez and Samantha Franco of the Luis Valdez Leadership Academy (LVLA).
Silicon Valley Latino was also proud support as the event’s media sponsor.

 

Cisco’s ERO Conexion & MESA partnership for students

On Friday, September 6th, 2013 Cisco’s Latino Employee Resource Organization (ERO), Conexion, had another first.  They partnered with an organization called MESA, Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement, here in San Jose.

 

MESA helps underprivileged college students in engineering majors by providing guidance & mentorship programs.  Conexion joined forces with MESA last spring and conducted a shadowing day at Cisco for 30 students who were then partnered with 30 Cisco mentors for a one year engagement.  One request that kept coming from the students was how to “get into Cisco”.

 

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After a few conversations with Diversity Recruiting and University Recruiting, Conexion decided to host a recruiting day.  Conexion worked with the different business units to understand where the requisitions would be open and had the students apply ahead of time.

 

 

Anabelle Pinto, Director in Sports and Entertainment at Cisco, kicked off the day with some inspirational words to the students.  Cisco had 7 students interview for full time positions.  Two students interviewed for internships. Nine students, that do not yet qualify for either internships or full time positions, had mock interviews with Cisco employees.  The day ended with Rosie Cofre, ERO Strategic at Cisco, sharing her story about her challenges of growing up as a diverse person in the US.  It resonated well, and left everyone inspired!

 

This was the first time that an ERO was able to provide a diverse candidate pool to Cisco that resulted in interviews and hopefully in a few new hires for next summer!

 

About Conexion/MESA partnership:

Conexion sponsored the MESA Shadowing Day & Mentoring Journey originally on March 8th, 2013 at the San Jose Cisco offices. 

Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) is nationally recognized for its innovative and effective academic development program.  This particular program is a partnership between MESA and Cisco to provide shadowing and mentoring opportunities for MESA higher education students interested in pursuing careers in technology.  To kick-off their experience, thirty students spent a half-day at Cisco, learning more about their technologies and solutions, meeting their individual mentors, shadowing their jobs, and then reflecting on the experience.  Thirty Cisco mentors were recruited through our partnership with the Employee Resource Groups at Cisco. 

Informal mentoring relationships between MESA students and Cisco employees will continue for a period of one year, where they will meet monthly to discuss student areas of study and interest, review areas of focus for the Cisco employee, and engage in coaching and mentoring discussions.