Sands Cares Gives Students an Opportunity to Learn IT in the Hospitality Industry
As a company, Las Vegas Sands is committed to the communities in which it operates by providing financial or in-kind support through Sands Cares, its global corporate giving program. In Las Vegas, The Venetian and The Palazzo welcomed a group of 20 students from Tech Impact’s ITWorks program for a chance to meet with the Information Technology (IT) department.
Tech Impact is a national nonprofit providing services to others as part of their mission to help the community through technology. ITWorks is a free, 16-week program with a curriculum set up for four days in the classroom and one day a week for off-site sessions. The program is geared toward young adults ranging from 18 to 26 years old and veterans up to 32 years old. The students spent the day at the Integrated Resort learning about careers in IT, skillsets needed to be successful, professionalism, and networking with Team Members.
“What we loved about them coming on site, was that not only were we excited to share what we do, but they were also very engaged with us,” Nina Khatami, IT Communications and Training manager at The Venetian and The Palazzo, said.
The IT department partners with organizations a few times a year to coordinate networking and shadowing opportunities, including the City Impact Center. This was the first time the department had worked with the ITWorks program, providing a tour and an interactive lunch session with department leaders.
“The students were very attentive, and came prepared with great questions for our IT representatives,” Danilo Delacruz, manager of IT Asset Management, said. “I was fortunate to be able to sit with the group at lunch, where the questions continued. It was great to see the genuine interest in the field and their eagerness to gather information to help get them started in IT.”
Cami Lewis, Community manager at Tech Impact Las Vegas Opportunity Center, said most of the students they have are ready to get going in life and begin their career in IT.
“Students love to see what the career paths are,” Lewis said. “They think ‘I love gaming so I should try IT.’”
Khatami stressed that many people assume they have to be very tech-savvy in order to be in IT, but it starts with passion, and one of the things they wanted to teach the students was that there’s multiple ways to get involved.
“You don’t just come out of school and you’re automatically a vice president or executive director,” Khatami said. “Everybody takes their time and everybody has different ways of getting into IT.”
Tamara Moran, an ITWorks student, enjoyed her experience on property, especially being serenaded by a gondolier during the tour.
“Being introduced to the various positions in the IT department was so exciting,” she said. “I really appreciate the IT department leaders taking the time out of their day to explain duties, as well as what is expected of their IT staff.”
As part of their visit, Khatami and her team went over a few tips and guidelines on professionalism, including social media etiquette, dress code, and creating an elevator pitch.
“We learned just as much about the students, as they did about us. On both sides of the equation, we all learned something from the experience. That’s one of the things I really appreciated,” Alissa Allard, executive director of IT Business Administration, said.