This story was submitted by Yena Yu, grade 10, and JiaJia Jiang, grade 11.
Harker upper school students experienced a pair of rare learning opportunities with CareerConnect earlier this month and in late October.
On Nov. 6, CareerConnect invited Andrew Filev, the founder of Wrike, to talk about his experiences surrounding the creation of both his company and give advice to high schoolers interested in the STEM and entrepreneurship fields. During the fireside chat led by officer Emily Mitnick, grade 11, Filev shared his insights on entrepreneurship, productivity and the impact of artificial intelligence on the modern workplace. Filev’s passion for productivity stems from his own experiences as a college student and software developer juggling multiple tasks simultaneously. He recognized the need for better tools to streamline workflows and enhance efficiency, which grew to become the driving force behind the creation of Wrike. He also emphasized the importance of finding one’s passion when pursuing a business venture, believing that genuine enthusiasm for the product or service being offered fuels the determination to succeed in the face of challenges. Regarding AI, Filev expressed his belief that this technological advancement will revolutionize various white-collar jobs, and envisions AI as a catalyst for redefining job roles around the world.
Isabelle Niu, grade 9, recalled her experience at the event, mentioning, “[I think the idea that] you should not only get help but also ask for help [. . .] was a really nice piece of advice and I felt like a lot of the questions were [specifically] for high schoolers, which was pretty nice.” She also reflected on the knowledge she gained from his talk, saying, “He talked a lot about entrepreneurship and stock markets and how to create a business, and I thought it was really helpful for people who want to pursue that career.”
Overall, the event gave students the opportunity to learn about the experiences of a successful entrepreneur, his advice for future entrepreneurs, and his thoughts on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the world, broadening the students’ view on both the world of business and the future of technology.
On Oct. 6, CareerConnect went on a field trip to Sunnyvale-based cybersecurity company Fortinet. The students were able to meet with Jaime Romero, the vice president of corporate Marketing; Wei Ling Neo, VP of product management; Rachel Moussa, business developer of Fortinet’s academic programs; and Anthony Pham, the director of executive briefing programs. The visit started off with a Q&A panel where the panelists introduced their roles in the company and explained briefly their purposes. They talked about their strategies for marketing, their unique security fabric and their methods of reaching out to a new generation of potential cybersecurity engineers. The field trip concluded with a tour of the headquarters, where Fortinet’s technologies were on display. The technologies ranged from digital menu boards to pharmaceutical devices.
The Fortinet field trip gave students the opportunity to learn about more job opportunities in the world of cybersecurity and learn more about its impact. Reflecting on the experience, senior Callie Yuan said,“It was interesting learning about different career opportunities in cybersecurity, and I enjoyed seeing real-world applications of Fortinet’s different products.”