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Aloha girl gets jump on career through unique Intel program

by: Ray Pitz, HANDS ON — Claudia Musick, a graduate of Intel’s High Tech U, now works as a paid intern at the company’s Jones Farm campus. Musick hopes to get a degree in accounting or international business, and possibly work for the FBI some day.

Two years ago, Claudia Musick participated in Intel's High Tech U, a program that exposes students to math and science studies. The hope is that such exposure will inspire an interest in the high-tech industry.

Last month, Musick came back to help mentor students attending the program - 30 students, mostly freshmen and sophomores from Aloha and Hillsboro - at Intel's Jones Farm campus in Hillsboro.

Not only that but Musick, a senior at Aloha High School, now has an internship at the high-tech company.

Musick says she's been interested in technology for a long time.

'I've always liked computers,' said Musick. 'When I was in elementary school, I was on the tech team.'

Bill MacKenzie, an Intel communications manager, said the program is aimed at helping out young women and minorities.

'It's really a program we do in collaboration with SEMI (Semicondcdoctor Equipment and Materials International),' said MacKenzie. 'The whole purpose of it is to stimulate interest in math and science, particularly for women and minorities.'

Musick, who also is a sophomore at Portland Community College's Early College Program at the Rock Creek campus, says she learned a lot during her three-day High Tech U experience.

The first day she spent watching experiments, many involving electricity. On the second day, she spoke with a PCC/Rock Creek microelectronics teacher. Her last day was spent in mock job interviews where she interviewed with an Intel employee.

'It really helped me because at that time I never had a real job,' she said. 'It was helpful too because they gave pointers.'

While at High Tech U, Musick said she received loads of support from her mentor, Marcelo Spagnolo, who she still talks with frequently.

'He's been really helpful,' said Musick.

The program helped inspire her to pursue a paid Intel internship, applying for it through the Business Education Compact in August. Since September, she has worked at Intel's Jones Farm campus as a lab support technician intern.

Meanwhile, Musick participates in the Leadership Institute through Portland Community College, mentoring two sophomores and one freshman.

'All of them are Latino,' she said. 'What we do is we help keep in contact with them.'

Earlier in her Aloha High career, Musick participated in choir and played basketball.

Now, in addition to all her activities, she's busy raising her 1½-year-old daughter, Ava.

For the future, Musick hopes to attend Portland State University to major in accounting or international business.

'I want to work for the FBI,' she said. 'They actually take people with accounting degrees.'

Those interested in High Tech U can contact Bill MacKenzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..