TAYLOR, Texas (KXAN) — The second-floor library at Taylor High School provides a great view of the largest building in the city. The skyline is covered in cranes as the new Samsung Semiconductor plant, located just down the street from the school, gets bigger everyday.
The proximity of the two buildings mirrors the type of relationship the South Korea-based company has made with the town and the school district. Samsung has committed to taking two dozen incoming seniors, 12 from Taylor High School and 12 from Legacy Early College High School, and placing them in a summer internship program.
The second class of 24 students just recently finished the summer program and the school district said it has been an extraordinary success.
Rachelle Fink, the director of guidance and counseling at Taylor Independent School District, said over the past two years the district has seen excitement and competition for the program grow substantially. Last school year, Fink said she received between 50 and 100 applications from both campuses.
“There are kids that are literally biting at the bit for the application to come out so they have the opportunity,” Fink explained.
What is the program like?
Angelo Cho said he is passionate about computer science and programming, and hopes to study it next year after he graduates from Taylor High School and moves on to college. He worked with the IT strategy department at Samsung during his internship, getting the chance to help work on internal applications that employees used everyday, and ultimately updating the internal system used by Samsung employees.
“The main thing that my department was pushing for was using a tablet instead of a laptop. That was one of the main projects that I had,” Cho explained.
He said he worked Monday through Friday, 45 hours a week during the summer. It is not the most ideal schedule for a teenager in the summertime, but Cho didn’t seem to mind.
“It’s amazing. I would give it up in a heartbeat,” Cho said about his summer break.
Not just for tech jobs
Samsung was a dream opportunity for Cho, but the internship program offers more than positions in tech. Wendy Ibarra, an incoming senior at Legacy, learned that after she applied for the program.
Ibarra has an interest in the medical field and has a goal of becoming a nurse anesthesiologist. Even though her passion for helping people in the medical field is still there, she found herself pondering a degree in political science after the internship.
She interned with the company’s government relations department. She said she would help monitor legislation at the federal, state, and local level that Samsung was interested in.
“I got to know a little bit about what’s going on behind the scenes. How you interact with people,” Ibarra explained.
Both Ibarra and Cho said this past summer was the perfect opportunity to network with as many connections as they could. They highly encourage anyone to apply for the program.