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Students discover business world at Citicorp

April 27, 2000|By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Riding by the Citicorp Credit Services complex along Interstate 81, Dominique Derbigny always wondered what went on in the large buildings.

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On Thursday, she was given a guided tour of the complex and shadowed her mother, Citicorp trainee Rhoda Derbigny, as part of Washington County's Day on the Job activity for county eighth-graders.

"I think it's a good learning experience for us all," Derbigny, 14, an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School, said during a lunch break after three hours of presentations and activities organized by the company for its young visitors.

Citicorp, which employs about 2,400 people at its three-building complex near the Pennsylvania border, hosted about 50 area students participating in either Day on the Job or Take Our Daughters to Work Day, according to Citicorp spokesman Philip A. Kelly.

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Many, but not all, were children of employees, coming from public and private schools in Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as Maryland, Kelly said.

The company has invited students in for both events for years, ever since each of the career awareness days was instituted in Washington County. Other area businesses also participate.

This year, Citicorp opened up participation to eighth-grade boys and girls for Day on the Job and ninth- and for 10th-grade girls for Take Our Daughters to Work Day.

The girls spent some of the morning listening to presentations on credit and credit cards, Citicorp and careers, and most of it participating in activities designed to be fun and get them thinking about careers and their options, Kelly said.

The afternoon was spent touring the facility and accompanying their sponsors, which could be parents, relatives or friends, he said.

For the boys, the schedule was reversed.

Students were divided into groups by sex, not grade, this year so that the younger girls would get the added message of Take Our Daughters to Work Day - that the sky is the limit for young women choosing a career, Kelly said.

Blue helium-filled balloons peeked out from cubicles in different departments, signaling which employees were sponsoring students.

There were several balloons in the credit area, where unit managers Tammie Harden and Georgette Winebrenner had their sons with them during the morning.

Tyler Harden, an eighth-grader at Northern Middle School, said he thinks Day on the Job is good for students.

"It's a heads-up of what it's going to be like after you get out of college," said Harden, 13, who said he spent a work day with his mother during a similar career awareness event when he was 10 years old.

It was also the second time Chase Winebrenner, an eighth-grader at Hedgesville Middle School, accompanied his mother to work.

Winebrenner, 14, said he'd like to be able to get the same inside view of other careers in the future.

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