Technology

Bay Area teens get summer internships at Facebook

Monday, July 02, 2012

A group of 10 high school students from East Palo Alto had orientation day Monday for more than just your average summer job -- they're starting a four-week internship at Facebook.

The 10 high school juniors from are the first ever to go through the Facebook Academy, an honor they earned through essays and good grades.

"We're hoping that through spending four weeks here full-time, working alongside IT professionals, that these students will be encouraged to pursue a college education in science, technology, engineering or math," Susan Gonzales, head of Community Engagement for Facebook, said.

Each will be assigned a mentor and they will learn their way around Facebook's sprawling campus -- from the micro-kitchens to the computer parts vending machines.

The teens will spend most of the week program in the IT department, learning all about working with computers, but they'll also get to visit other departments, like accounting, public relations and online security, to learn about all the different types of careers you can have at a big high tech company.

"I think it's amazing; it feels like I'm in a whole new city or something," intern Julio Montesinos said.

For some, orientation was like going backstage at a rock concert -- seeing what goes into making the website that's such a part of their lives.

"I didn't expect the engineers to work so close; the space is so open, and there's so much communication amongst the employees," intern Anthony Villanueva said.

Many are getting their first real look at how a Silicon Valley office works -- and a chance to see if they like it.

"I'm hoping, you know, just to find out if I'm any good at any of this stuff, you know technical jobs and stuff," intern Berenice Chavez said.

Facebook is hoping the answer is yes. After all, they might have a few openings by the time the kids finish college.

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facebook, technology, jonathan bloom
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