Last week, CareerConnect, Harker’s student-run networking and career preparation program, led a leadership workshop hosting Helen Zhu ’21, who discussed journalism leadership and clubs at Harker, and Avi Gulati ‘20, who talked about the student council and volunteering in high school. Both alumni contributed their experiences in finding their passions in high school, experiencing new classes and clubs, and being involved in student leadership.
Claire Cheng, a freshman who attended the session said, “I think that the event was very interesting because I learned how two successful Harker students were able to navigate their way through high school and obtain leadership positions even in college.”
CareerConnect’s incentive for this workshop was to help guide grade 9 students venture into new opportunities and explore different electives and extracurriculars before they settle. To this end, they strove to make the experience memorable for the freshmen and sophomores who attended, but also the alumni speakers. “Even though I was halfway across the country from the upper school campus, it was really heartwarming to be able to see the freshman and sophomores in the classrooms through the Zoom screen,” Zhu said. “I was so glad to be able to give back to the Harker community and I really hope the attendees learned something new!”
On Oct. 27, CareerConnect brought nine students on a day trip to Constellation Research’s three-day Connected Enterprise business conference, located at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay, to help them better understand what is currently happening in the business world as well as what is predicted to happen in the future. The participants heard from many highly qualified speakers, many of whom are executives in Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Salesforce. The students learned about the applications of technology and business models in various industries.
One of the notable speakers was Colin Bryer, a former executive at Amazon as well as the author of “Working Backwards,” which provides an inside perspective on the methodology and culture of Amazon. He discussed his experiences working closely with Jeff Bezos and how businesses like Amazon plan for the long term. Another was Geeta Nayyar, the executive medical director at Salesforce, who described the technological changes in the medical industry as a result of COVID-19. All the speakers were able to provide insights into their respective industries.
Overall, the trip was a success and provided inspiration for students interested in business. When asked what he wanted the students to gain from Connected Enterprise, R “Ray” Wang, Constellation’s founder and CEO, explained that he wished for all the students to “see what trends are happening and meet people.” He further elaborated that everyone at the conference was approachable and happy to give advice to the students. Sophomore Claire Miao, reflecting on the benefits of the event, commented, “I thought it was a great experience to meet industry professionals that are at the top of their industry. All of the talks were great, and everyone had a topic to listen to that they were interested in. I also had so much fun at the hotel to see the views.”
The trip proved to be a valuable experience for the attendees, with the nine Harker students networking with new people and gaining a more comprehensive understanding of how the business world works.