Making strong connections with the Houston community is interwoven into the culture at Vinson & Elkins (V&E) LLP law firm — one of our 10 founding corporate partners. We currently have 157 corporate partners. For the past 10 years, V&E’s community involvement has impacted Cristo Rey Jesuit with their sponsorship of the school’s Corporate Work-Study Program (CWSP), employing eight of our students in Houston each year. “Our firm is committed to the community and to supporting Cristo Rey Jesuit,” said Julie Tran, V&E Director of Talent Management. “It’s who we are.”
From personal experience, Tran is invested in helping Cristo Rey Jesuit students become the best men or women for others that they can be. “Being raised in a single-parent home, I understand how important Cristo Rey Jesuit is to their students, with the attentive teacher support and work-study program. Cristo Rey Jesuit is helping students to get ahead of the game.”
V&E has been so impressed by the caliber of Cristo Rey Jesuit students that they’ve hired students back to work as interns while they attend college, or after graduating from college. For example, one Cristo Rey Jesuit graduate was hired to work for V&E on their Conference Services Team while in college. “We were so excited when he wanted to come back to work for V&E because he was great at offering solutions and he was very creative,” Tran said.
CRJ Class of 2014 graduate Amy Garcia was hired at V&E as a summer intern while she obtained a degree in business at the University of Houston. “Although she is no longer a Cristo Rey Jesuit student, I continue to support and mentor Amy in her business program at UH,” Tran said. “We stay in touch with the students and try to support them in their accomplishments as they succeed in life.”
Mentoring of Cristo Rey Jesuit students begins on their first day of work at V&E, teaching them workplace skills and professionalism. Employees assign projects of interest and encourage students to take ownership of their development. “It’s rewarding when the students realize what they are capable of achieving,” Tran said. “We help them to understand that what they are working on is important to the success of our company. We have the students shadow our employees, allowing them to experience the true work day, including participation in our meetings and events.
“It’s exciting to watch their confidence grow as we teach them how to be proactive and not to be afraid to ask questions. In addition, we teach them how to strategize and help develop their writing skills — without using emoji’s and texting language,” Tran said with a smile.
V&E’s most recent graduate, Valerie, a freshman at the University of Houston studying International Business, said, “This is a world class company with exceptional client services. I’ve had such an incredible experience working here. I feel like I’m with family.”
One of Valerie’s biggest professional challenges was overcoming her shyness. “I had a hard time asking questions, but I’ve learned that I’m very capable and it’s better to ask questions,” Valerie said. “It’s also important to keep a smile on my face because it can change a person’s day. This experience has brought me out of my shell.”
Thank you V&E for being instrumental in improving the futures of all of our students who have been mentored at your company the past 10 years. We too are excited to see what the future holds for our incredible students.