Best Practices
  • General Guidelines
      • Provide the student(s) with a daily task list (duties to be done daily in addition to any other projects).
        • Gives them guidance when supervisor is not available and make sure instructions are specific and clear. 
        • Ex. Fill all copiers and printers with paper, tidy conference rooms and kitchen areas, ask colleagues within department to ask if they need help, research company and write a one page paper on your research, etc.
      • When giving instructions, provide as much detail as possible—remember that some “simple” tasks are new to the student(s) and instructions on the basic level may be needed. i.e. where the stamp goes on an envelope.
      • Provide written, step-by-step instructions for tasks, or make sure the student takes notes on the step-by-step instructions so they can refer back to them when completing the task another time. Students are taught to take notes, make sure to reinforce this habit! 
      • An extra 10-15 minutes in up-front training/explanation saves hours of work on the back-end. Assess students on strengths to determine daily training schedule.
  • How to Best Utilize Students
      • Assign each student to a specific department—consistency and training can go a long way when the same student reports to a designated department each week.
        • Some companies choose to rotate which student reports to which department at the start of a new school semester in order to diversify the knowledge and training a student is receiving.
      • Have a schedule for the students- A structured schedule that is also flexible. We give basic, yet important things to do- filing, shredding, coping, organizing etc- perhaps may seem boring to us that do it every day- but we are working with students that will find these skills invaluable and a comfort level in their advancement.  As a side note- the freshmen are just out of Middle School- they are so young and so unfamiliar with the workplace, that sometimes simplicity is best until you find what they like.
      • If all students report to the same department, implement true job sharing.
        •  Empower the upperclassmen student to keep track of and report all work assignments to the supervisor and to communicate what needs to be done to the other students (since they will not be at work together on the same day, students need to communicate via email at work for this to be successful).
      • A Corporate Sponsor in the financial industry has organized work assignments so that the freshman learns business basics and what it is like working in the corporate world; the sophomore begins to receive more involved tasks; the junior receives higher level work and maintains the Cristo Rey calendar for the supervisors; and the senior manages the schedules and task assignments for the other students while also completing higher level tasks and projects.
      • The more the entire staff knows about the students and the more exposure the students get to the entire staff, the easier the supervision process goes. We like giving the students tasks that make them interact with the other associates in the office, particularly when they first start – for example, updating the excel spreadsheet for emergency contacts, building key fobs and home addresses. We give them a clipboard and have them walk around the office.
      • If a student is new to the company, have them create an “All About Me” presentation to present to as much staff that is available—a lunch meeting works well for this.
        • This gives the student public speaking practice while also exposing the student to all of the staff members who will then know who the student is and how he/she can utilize the student for tasks.
      • If a student has a specific interest in a certain area, arrange a shadow day with an individual who would be willing to let the student see what he/she does on a given day.
      • Some companies choose to have various employees sign up to have lunch with the student on certain days—this allows the student to become comfortable with co-workers.
      • Create a daily checklist to be used no matter what the big projects for the day are. This gets students accustomed to the office and what they should be doing to start their day right.
      • Instruct students early on about the importance of communication. Many issues arise when students do not know who to go to about situations or when they have completed a task. Set guidelines on when a student should be seeing you about work.

Assignment Ideas
  • Anywhere
      • Utilize the students’ bilingual capabilities in document translation and verbal translation, both in person and over the phone.
      • Have the students work the front desk reception which gives a welcoming presence to office visitors in the companies that already do this.
      • Utilize the students in a busy mailroom to process and deliver mail throughout the office building.
      • Give each student his/her own project to focus on—i.e. updating contact directories, time trials in waiting areas, and audit client files to make sure contact info and dates were entered correctly.
  • Construction
      • Students process the electric bills for each of the various construction sites and enter that data to be paid.
  • Healthcare
      • Help check-in patients and direct them where to go in the hospital waiting area
      • Provide comfort to patients by retrieving water and blankets
      • Make announcements, which enhances the students' public speaking skills
  • Higher Education
      • A university uses one of their students in the bio/chem department where the student learns what each piece of equipment does and performs setup for college labs
  • Information Technology
      • Assist with computer backups
      • Reimage computers
      • Assist new employees with setup
      • Solve basic help desk issues without supervisor experience
      • Assist with other general office technology issues

Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, 420 S. Chester Street, Baltimore, MD 21231
Phone: 410.727.3255
Fax: 443.573.9897