Blog & Calendar

Empowering Tomorrow's Leaders: Insights from Andy Waters '04 on Professionalism in the Workplace

Kim Gendron, Social Media Coordinator

The CCES Internship Program, since its launch in 2020, has provided students with opportunities to develop professional skills in the context of real world experiences, with the goal of enriching their career exploration process as they prepare for college. These internships take place over 1-2 weeks in the summer for rising CCES seniors, but also include several professionalism seminars throughout the school year. Earlier this week, Andy Waters ’04 came to campus to share his story and lend some advice on professionalism in the workplace. He spoke to the junior and senior classes about preparing for internships, summer jobs, college interviews, and even future professional opportunities beyond CCES.  
After graduating from Christ Church, Andy went to Furman University, where he had a wide range of internships, exposing him to a number of fields. Through those experiences, he honed in on his knack for sales and business, eventually joining his family’s company, Herff Jones. Over the past few years, Andy has played an integral role in expanding the business, adding two industry adjacent services for their loyal customers.
Andy impressed on the students how important professionalism is, especially coming from someone whose role is, in large part, human resources related. He gave them four main points of emphasis – timeliness, technology, apparel, and absences – and provided them with a list of do’s and don’ts for each. Do show up on time. Don’t spend 30 minutes in the bathroom making TikTok’s. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. 
Andy also took the time to discuss the interview process with students, encouraging them to be authentic and to come prepared. He noted that interviews are not just for employers, but also for individuals to assess whether an organization is a good fit for them. The best way to do that is to come prepared with questions. He said, “People love to talk about themselves so ask your interviewer how they got into their job or about their work and academic background.”
Beyond the nuts and bolts of professionalism, Andy’s main advice to students was to have an open mind and find what they’re passionate about. There are so many career possibilities out there, so taking the time to be exposed to a variety of fields and jobs is important. Any given career path can be varied – it’s less about the specific major or courses, but more about taking initiative and finding opportunities through campus groups or internships.
The internship program at CCES hopes to provide students with a framework that can shape their college experiences in a positive way, allowing them to think through a variety of career paths and majors. We are grateful to have an amazing College Counseling department and wonderful alumni who are willing to come back to campus to share a piece of their story with current students.
To learn more about the CCES Internship Program, click here.  
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Christ Church Episcopal School (“CCES”) admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at CCES. CCES does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, or sexual orientation in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, financial aid, scholarship or other programs, or athletic or other school-administered programs and activities.