CWSP Student Workers Continue Working Remotely at The McShane Companies and Blue Cross Blue Shield

A valuable and unique part of a CTK education is our students’ participation in the Corporate Work Study Program.  We wanted to highlight and thank two of our work study partners for their successful transition to a remote working relationship with our students.

The McShane Companies has been a long term supporter of CTK students and the Corporate Work Study Program. CTK sophomore ShaMarrion splits his time between the Safety and IT groups at McShane. According to Jennifer Werneke, Vice President of Human Resources, who oversees the program at McShane, “Participating in CTK’s CWSP program has been a valuable part of our company culture. Being able to bring a young person into our office gives employees an opportunity to participate in the company’s goodwill efforts and see the positive impact firsthand. Seeing a young student develop professional skills is a rewarding experience for all.” 

Director, Information Technology, Cathy Bressie led the effort at McShane to continue using ShaMarrion as a resource from home. She said, “I thought any way that we could help ShaMarrion stay connected and incorporate the experience of remote working, we just had to make it happen. We had a couple of Zoom calls with ShaMarrion explaining how to connect to the VPN, access network drives and what his tasks would be and so far so good.  Since it seems that some of the traditional ways we work will be changing it is a good opportunity for ShaMarrion to get a jump on the “new normal”.”

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBS) has been a committed partner of the Corporate Work Study Program with students working there from both Christ the King and Cristo Rey Jesuit. The experience has proven to be rewarding for both BCBS and the students.  All students are now working remotely (with BCBS supplied laptops).

Tina Strilko, Exec. Admin. Assistant at BCBS is the primary supervisor for Mya CTK ’21.  She sees the opportunity to utilize Mya for administrative tasks that relieve the workload of their full-time staff.  She also appreciates the fresh perspective and technology skills that Mya and other student workers offer.  She ultimately believes, “Our investment in the students provides them with real-world experience, knowledge, skills, and relationships they can apply in other areas of their lives.”

During the COVID-19 stay at home order, BCBS has worked diligently to enable their interns access to be able to work remotely. Ms. Strilko explained their thinking, saying, “The various projects the students worked on are important to the company and the students have poured their hard work into them all year.  We could not let a temporary loss of access to the workplace hinder their progress. They have shown great flexibility and diligence to stay on track with work and school and we wanted to support that by keeping their routines as normal as possible. “ 

Thank you for your investment in the futures of our students!

For information on becoming a CTK job partner for the 20/21 school year, contact Lillie Sellers at [email protected] or 773.593.0264.