INSTEAD of packing their swimsuits to hit the beach, three senior high school students will be ironing blouses and pants this summer.

Although the tan lines and sand castles may have to wait, the smiles on the faces of Jhona Curaraton, Zena Cabucos and Jeicel Entia shine brighter than the sun.

Why? These three graduating senior high school students may soon be working as customer service representatives.

The Grade 12 students were among the 38 applicants who passed the first stage of the special recruitment activity by Apas National High School and Convergys held last Saturday.

The activity seeks to help senior high school graduates who are seeking for a job this summer from April to May, and augment their financial needs for college.

Mae Cañete, supervisor of Convergys’ recruitment department, told SunStar Cebu that they have accounts based on the United States that are particular about their agents completing a minimum of two years as an educational requirement.

They chose senior high school graduates to not only help them on their financial needs for col- lege, but also to give them an opportunity to expand their career options.

“It’s a very good opportunity. They could use it as a trial stage if they would really decide if they want to pursue a career in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry or not,” Cañete said.

Convergys is planning on holding the same special recruitment activities to other schools that offer senior high school programs.

These include the University of Cebu (UC) Banilad, UC LapuLapu and Mandaue, Southwestern University PHINMA and the University of San Jose Recoletos.

At Apas, assistant school head for senior high school Vivian Emping, said they encouraged their students to join the activity to help give them a boost for college.

She said they also invited students from Banilad Night High School, Mabolo National High School and Lahug Night High School to join the job offering.

Out of 78 applicants last Saturday, 38 of them passed the initial recruitment stage and will proceed to the next set of interviews.

Although initially hesitant to join the activity, Jhona Curaraton had a change of heart after receiving encouragement from Cañete.

Curaraton had previously worked as an intern for Convergys’ recruitment hub as part of their immersion requirement in senior high.

“I felt quite nervous since it was a sudden decision and I believe that it is normal as long as you can answer the questions without unnecessary pauses. For me, experience is a key ingredient to success in a job,” she said.

Cabucos and Entia, on the other hand, had always wanted to join the activity to help their families.

A single mother, Cabucos said that despite the job offering being a seasonal account, it will help her provide for her son’s needs and train her on becoming independent.

“I am interested in having this job because this is an opportunity for me to be part of the BPO company. I also want to know how it feels to be employed,” she said.

For Entia, aside from helping her parents, she wants to spend a “productive” summer by improving her communication skills and attaining work experience.

If not for this activity, all three of them said they will either look for another job or put up a small business.

Entia, whose father owns and drives a public utility jeepney, said she may also accompany her dad and help him as a conductor.

“Even without this opportunity, I would not let my summer be another boring and sad summer. I’ll make exciting things, still. It’s so amazing to explore beautiful and exciting things in this world,” she said.

It’s a very good opportunity. They could use it as a trial stage if they would really decide if they want to pursue a career in the BPO (business process outsourcing) industry or not.