Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) Latinos Empowered to Achieve their Potential (LEAP) recently hosted an on-site career day in partnership with Siembra Nebraska, the Latino Center of the Midlands’ internship program.

“It started as a job-shadowing day, but we adjusted it to be a day where we brought in our Latino professionals at Blue Cross to share their career paths,” said Christian Gallardo, IT compliance program manager at BCBSNE and LEAP president. “They shared how they got there, what happened, what choices they made and what we went through to get to today.”

LEAP, BCBSNE’s employee resource group (ERG) supporting Latino employees, provided students with a tour of Blue Cross Centre, an identity activity courtesy of Fearlessly You @ Blue, BCBSNE’s LGBTQ+ ERG, and job presentations from various departments.

“It turned out to be better because instead of just job shadowing one person, they got to hear professional advice from five or six people,” said Gallardo. “Even more than the presenters, they got advice from people who helped us do activities, which made it even better.”

Students learned about professions ranging from marketing coordinator to plan performance auditor to a customer service representative.

“It showed these kids a new perspective because they said they had no idea of all these choices they had,” said Gallardo. “They always hear about being a doctor or a lawyer or a manager, but they never hear all the things that are in between. Like in IT, it’s not only people who program. There are people like me who work in the background doing compliance, working on frameworks or being a liaison between IT and the people on the other side. It really opened their eyes and that brought me joy.”

Presenters gave information about their current position and their time before BCBSNE, answered questions and had one-on-one conversations with the students.

“You can be whatever you want to be,” Maria Mayorga, group billing and stop loss supervisor and LEAP member, told the students. “You just have to work for it, and whatever you do, just make sure you do it right. Whatever it is, do it the right way.”

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