"At first, coming to a big company was challenging," she said, mentioning how she had to escape her "comfort zone," speak in public and meet new people.
"Especially, like, older people," the
But when her mentor,
"With experienced professionals."
The 17-year-old Santaella, who will be a senior at
Santaella said she had aspirations of becoming a physician assistant, but after participating in the internship organized by the nonprofit
"Just listening to that makes me so happy," Huaman said, "because at the end of the day, the
Students such as Santaella, who are entering their junior or senior years of high school, received one week of life and office skills, computer training and business basics while on campus at
The program is free to students, and they received a
"The internship has allowed me to learn about international business and experience it hands on," said Cruz, a senior at
"My focus is on getting kids exposed, to develop entrepreneurs," said Bus, who is also involved in other student-sponsored programs, including "What's So Cool About Manufacturing?" created by
Program organizers try to match students' internships with their interests,
"We try to pair them or find that Hispanic person who can serve as the mentor or coordinator at the site," Pina said, "so the student can see that this person is like me, and if the person can do it, so can I."
"It was cool to see the inner workings of a Fortune 500 company," said De La Cruz, now a financial analyst at
De La Cruz, who was born in the
Other students say Futuro Empresarios opened their eyes to life after high school.
"The internship is very useful, because it gets us to be exposed enough to see if we are interested [in a career]," said
At Olympus, Huaman, a credit risk manager responsible for the company's
One day, she spent time with college interns looking at various Olympus medical devices and how they are used in surgeries.
"They took a class on training on the medical devices," Santaella said. "It was a bunch of stations and it was hands on. We also got to watch a couple of surgeries using the devices. That was cool."
Morning Call reporter
The current crop of Futuro Empresarios students celebrated their graduation Saturday at
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