Students Learn From Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

Recently, a select few EAW employees at our Utah site received a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit an EAW partner in Washington.

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Recently, a select few Education at Work student employees at our Utah site received a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit an EAW partner and global technology company’s headquarters in Washington. Each student chosen earned their ‘Golden Ticket’ through hard work and dedication. The following eight University of Utah students and EAW employees were chosen to attend the ‘Golden Ticket’ trip: Austin Gibbons, a computer science major and senior; Taysha Tiatia, an economics major going into her fourth year; Arielle Lupo, a biomedical engineering major going into her fourth year; Tayler Looney, a biology/pre-med major and a junior; Yulissa Garcia, an operations management and supply chain major going into her fourth year; Freddy Lafoou, an entrepreneurship major in his junior year; Jace Wilko, a marketing major who will be entering his sophomore year this fall and Peter Sullivan a marketing major going into his junior year. During the trip, students saw the sights in Seattle, Washington and were given a tour of the global technology company’s headquarters by several members of staff. During their experience each student spoke to employees at the Fortune 500 to understand how they got to where they are and to learn more about the company.

“It was really awesome and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn about your role at EAW and to learn from the staff at a Fortune 500 and to really understand their mission statement,” said Taysha. “We talked to the head of Customer Service Support and she inspired us to think about the reason behind a 6-star customer experience.”

Staff and engineers at the site were extremely open to networking and encouraged students to connect on LinkedIn.

“After seeing everything, it gave me a greater sense of direction on how to tackle school and actually made me feel like a job at a Fortune 500 is more obtainable,” said Jace. “It’s great seeing their passion and it even developed my own.”

Students were able to see what the engineers are currently developing and learned about their creative process.

Tayler Looney, a biology/pre-med major, shared that one of the best things on the trip, for her, was to sit down with the engineers and interns and talk to them on a personal level. Tayler said that hearing from the interns, their experiences and how they got into the program was a great experience.

This trip is just one example of what Education at Work does to help students build their networking skills and gain real-world experience. We are proud to have a helping hand in building brighter futures.

Student Success: Jessica Parra

Jessica Salas Parra is a college graduate who worked at Education at Work for more than three years throughout her university career.

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Jessica Salas Parra is a college graduate who worked at Education at Work for more than three years throughout her university career. She earned her Bachelors in English with a focus in Secondary Education from Arizona State University this past May, along with $11,150 in tuition assistance from Education at Work.

As a first generation college student Jessica never imagined graduating debt free. “Thiswas the kind of dream I had to work for and not wish for,'' says Jessica.

As a student attending Arizona State University, she dedicated most of her time to her studies but she also worked part-time to pay for her remaining missing finances. During her freshman year, Jessica heard about EAW through an email sent directly to her. Within a couple of days she decided to fill out the application. She heard back right away. “I didn’t expect to apply and get accepted for a job to be this quick,” says Jessica speaking about the hiring process.

One of the things Jessica cherishes while working at EAW is the constant support she receives from her supervisors. She’s also learned valuable professional and software skills that she finds useful in any work setting.

Coming from a title one high school Jessica is constantly reminded of all the struggles she’s faced to get accepted into one of the leading public universities in Arizona. This is why she decided to continue her professional career as a high school English teacher. “I got accepted to work my dream job this upcoming fall in the same school district that I went to school in,” says Jessica. “There is no greater feeling than giving back to the community to where it all started.”

Jessica’s passion for teaching is fulfilled by being able to help people, whether it be her new students or families as well. She realized with one of her previous part-time jobs that she enjoys having those “one-on-one” moments with students, similar to how she appreciates the same mentorship from her supervisors. “At the end of the day I want to be there for my students,” says Jessica.

Through her time with Education at Work Jessica built great friendships with her coworkers and felt strongly engaged with the positive environment EAW offers. “I am thankful for EAW for caring so much about their students,” says Jessica. “It was because of the tuition assistance I was able to live on campus and pay for summer classes.” Jessica is now committed to spend the rest of her time traveling and learning about other cultures.

We are thankful and so proud of Jessica for all of her accomplishments. Education at Work wishes her the best on her first year of teaching!

Student Employee Passes On His Computer Science Knowledge

Meet Austin Gibbons who has such a love for Computer Science that he got approval to tutor other Computer Science majors before his shifts.

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Austin Headshot 2

Meet Austin Gibbons, a senior at the University of Utah majoring in Computer Science, who has such a love for Computer Science that he got approval to tutor other Computer Science majors before his shifts at Education at Work. We chatted with Austin, who has been employed at EAW for over a year, to ask him a little about his story and why he felt compelled to share his knowledge and love of Computer Science with other students.

What made you want to start tutoring other students?

I’ve been tutoring students since fall of 2018. I had some extra time in the mornings before class that semester and I wanted to help the prospective CS majors get past the tough learning curve of the pre-major classes. I also wanted to help others see why CS is the best major (no bias at all).

Austin Tutoring 2

What have you learned from tutoring other students?

I got better at hopping into someone else’s code and quickly understanding it. Often the students would come to me not because they didn’t understand the course concepts but because their code wasn’t doing what they wanted or they didn’t know how to do the next part of the assignment (this is what I was hoping I could help with because small mistakes are the reason why so many people drop out of CS). This meant I needed to scan through their code with them to understand it all before I could provide any guidance.

I also rehashed my foundation in the prerequisite courses (algorithms and data structures, and object oriented programming). They say teaching something is the most effective way to improve your understanding, and I found it to be true. Both the students and I improved our understanding the concepts.

Strangely enough, I also learned to manage my time better. Between tutoring and working I knew I had to use my other available time effectively and it made that semester the best in terms of juggling it all.

Take Advantage of Your Summer

Effectively control your summer starting now.

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By Zach Mills, EAW Student Digital Reporter

Effectively control your summer starting now. Here are 6 tips that will bring you greater self-satisfaction and accomplishment when someone asks: “How was your summer?” Your answer won’t have to be a simple shrug this time. Whether you are going back to school during the break or just taking time off, here are a few tips on how to take advantage and optimize your summer:


  1. Keep a healthy sleep routine. The early bird still gets the worm and getting plenty of sleep leads to a more productive day. Getting the sleep you need will in return give you energy to become motivated.
  2. Plan your week. If you’re feeling ambitious, plan some fun events that will fulfill your summer dream. You have the power to make it happen. Good planning will lead to even better execution. Get your friends involved in your plans. Summer activities are always better with a group!
  3. Work out. Now’s your chance, get that summer body before it’s over! Determine an exercise routine that works for you and commit to it. Even if there’s nobody to impress, do it for yourself. Take advantage of the summer air - even a stroll through the park is an effective way to get to your goal.
  4. Stay sharp. You’re not going to like it but here are the facts - students who study over the summer are 90 percent more likely to hit the ground running when the fall semester starts. If you aren’t taking summer classes then try to practice old material from your previous semester. Doing so will help you retain any skills and knowledge that you worked so hard to gain.
  5. Get a job! If you don’t have the money to travel or do the fun things you had hoped you would, at least set yourself up for next summer. Pick-up an extra shift or if you have the time, find a temporary summer job. After all, working hard leads to playing hard.
  6. Set a limit. We can all be honest here; we renew our streaming services to catch up and/or binge our favorite shows and video games. Just try to set a limit on the time you spend inside binge watching that favorite show. Be more productive and spend some of that time outside. When you get asked the question what you did over the summer, you’ll feel proud you didn’t spend it all indoors.