What It’s Like Being a Cristo Rey Boston High School Corporate Work Study Student at O’Neill and Associates

By: Marina, Sophomore

September 14, 2017

Attending a high school where I was obligated to work as part of the required curriculum seemed like a challenge. I didn’t know what to expect or if I even wanted to attend Cristo Rey Boston High School at all — fortunately, I did. In fact, I quickly started to enjoy and appreciate my job. I work for O’Neill and Associates, a public relations and government relations company. I work every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and handle a variety of tasks and there’s more to this than meets the eye. Everyone has to work, and as you grow old there is no way of avoiding it. If you approach work with an “I hate my job, why do I have to do all this” attitude then you will never be happy.

Every day is an opportunity for me to learn something new. I’m 16 years old but I have the chance to learn and perform tasks just as the college interns at O’Neill and Associates do. Working for my colleagues and having them rely on me has helped me to be more responsible and to take more initiatives at work. I’m always offering a helping hand, while making sure I accomplish everything small and large that was asked of me. I can pat my back and say I did something well. I can look at myself and know that I am a part of a great community.

In fact I am part of a community that is very involved with the public. Every day at O’Neill and Associates I hear political conversations or discussions about the latest news story and how we are affected. As a result, this has taught me the importance of being informed. These skills and characteristics that are growing in me are all thanks to O’Neill. Not only is everyone at the company interested in the public, but they are also interested in me. The staff is so supportive and mindful. I walk past everyone smiling and they ask how I’m doing, they show an interest in learning more about my classes and my life outside of school. At work I never hesitate to ask for help or fear making a mistake, because at O’Neill and Associates there’s a very supportive environment. There’s mutual support and respect. There is no place like O’Neill and Associates. I am very grateful for my job, and I know that most kids my age don’t have this opportunity. I believe this job is a stepping stone for me — a step that was laid out for me through Cristo Rey Boston’s Corporate Work Study. Thanks to the CWS program and O’Neill and Associates I am learning and growing beyond what I ever expected.