11 Jan CWS Partner Spotlight: Precision Diagnostics
Above: Sarah Pekarek, Precision’s Senior HR Generalist, spoke to new students during Summer Success Academy in 2022. She shared about her career journey, and Victor B. (Class of 2025), who worked at Precision during the 2021-2022 year, spoke about his experience as a student associate. Read on to learn more about the partnership between Cristo Rey San Diego and Precision.
Precision Diagnostics is a clinical laboratory that specializes in helping physicians monitor their patients undergoing treatment for pain or substance abuse. Precision began working with Cristo Rey San Diego’s Corporate Work Study (CWS) program in 2020. C.J. Driscoll, Precision’s CFO, was familiar with the Cristo Rey Network from his time in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and was excited to be part of the new San Diego school’s launch.
Initially, Precision’s goal for the students was to fill entry-level positions that were difficult to staff. Within weeks, they realized that not only were the students supporting day-to-day business needs, but their contributions allowed employees to develop leadership skills through mentoring the students, opening opportunities for career growth and promotions. The students were providing Precision with quality work while also supporting the company goals of engagement and retention.
The first year of the partnership, students worked in Billing, sorting claims, mail, scanning, filing, and sending documents to staff. They also worked in the laboratory, preparing specimens for testing, stocking, and cleaning. As other departments learned of the work the students were doing, managers became interested in having students join their teams. Precision now has students working in Supply Chain & Logistics creating shipments, doing inventory, and maintaining stock, as well as in Compliance doing audits, research, and database management. Sarah Pekarek, Senior HR Generalist who also coordinates the students said, “Every department has work the students can do successfully. As some students have returned for a second year, we have been able to build their knowledge and skills, providing even more benefits to the team. They have become so valuable that we have hired multiple students over summer break!”
Overall, partnering with CRSD has benefited Precision both in gaining competent, excited-to-learn workers and in helping create a culture of career growth for the company. From eight students in 2020 to twenty student workers in 2022, CRSD students have been a wonderful addition to Precision. It is clear the work they do is essential to operations. The students gain skills and work experience, while the company gains dedicated workers with extra support from school administration, who will one day be our future leaders.
Advice for students from Precision leaders:
- “Work hard, and all your hard work will pay off. A little something I tell myself is, ‘hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.’ Also, set goals and crush your goals! It will make you achieve in life.” – Cesar Santos, Accessioning Manager
- “Advice I would give to the students is to take it slow and steady instead of rushing because there will be opportunities missed.” – Kevin Her, Supply Chain & Logistics Supervisor