Thursday Dec 20, 2007

Volunteering @ Sun: NJ/NY BEN Hosts 100 HS Students for a day

I'm woefully behind in entries so I'm doing my end of the year rush. One of the things I've been most proud of is helping run a great volunteer event at Sun. During this past summer the employee group I'm a part of (Sun's Black Employee Network) along with a number of other Sun volunteers once again hosted 100 high school seniors from the NJ Governor's School of Engineering and Technology Program. this was the second year in a row we did in a whirlwind of a day where we gave the students exposure to how Sun creates, sells, uses, and services technology that impacts the world at large.

We kept the format from last year of having a fast paced day with small groups. We divided the students into 9 small groups and rotated them through 9 breakout sessions. Each session was 20 mins - we planned for 10-12 minute presentations, 5-7 minutes of Q&A, and a few minutes leftover to move the groups to their next sessions. Our post-event anonymous survey of the students got us a 96% positive rating on the day so while we've got a few things to tweak it's clear the students are getting something out of our effort.

We had some special keynote speakers in Hal Stern, Senior Vice President of Systems Engineering, and Jim Parkinson, Vice President, Collaboration Engineering who both did a great job in opening and closing the event. Them along with all the great speakers, student team leads, people who helped us get swag for the students, etc all made the day another reason why I still like working at Sun.

Last but not least here's a picture of some of the team that pulled off another great event.

We're now confirmed to run the program again next year so we'll have another chance to experiment with the format and maybe allow for longer sessions so the students can have more in depth presentations or demos. Looking forward to the next go around...

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