I Am Merkle is our interview series led by Merkle’s DEI team to showcase the individuals who make Merkle a diverse and unique place to work. This month, we feature the Corporate Work Study Program (CWSP), a partnership between Merkle and Cristo Rey High School in Chicago where we speak with Cristo Rey student and Merkle intern Anthony Hernandez, and Merkle's Lead QA and intern supervisor Greg Battin.
AH: I am a senior at Cristo Rey High School. I have been involved in ambassador, NHS, basketball, cross country, track, and stage crew. I grew up in Pilsen and now live in McKinley Park.
GB: I was born and raised in Albany, New York. I graduated from Lake Forest College in 1995 and have lived in Chicago since 2002. I started as a QA for Merkle in May 2016.
AH: My hope for the future is to be an engineer because I want to design and solve problems.
GB: My history as a developer and college education gave me the preparation to take advantage of the opportunity when Merkle offered me my current position. Understanding a testing environment and applying my developer’s knowledge made the most sense when becoming a direct digital marketing QA.
AH: The organization I did service hours at was Bethlehem farm, located in West Virginia. It is a catholic organization that transforms lives for the better and invites us to practice prayer, community, simplicity, and service. I chose this type of service because it was to get out of my comfort zone going far from home and having no communication from the outside world.
GB: My biggest teaching moment was when I began training the CWSP interns in 2018. Creating learning materials and instruction of technique to perform the position was quite difficult. When you realize you have made a commitment to someone’s success by teaching them all of what you do for a job, it’s very rewarding.
AH: There are many moments that have shaped who I am today. The best explanation is being involved in sports because it has beaten me down physically and mentally and thanks to that I became strong minded which transfers to school and work.
GB: A moment in my life that shaped me was realizing the importance of building sincere relationships and how they can help you as a person. I would not be where I am today without them. Being able to start and build a confident lasting relationship is mutually beneficial and personally rewarding.
AH: Merkle’s workplace is a respectful, diverse, and a friendly working environment.
GB: Merkle hires great people. Being a part of a committed and disciplined team of great people is very inspirational.
AH: I am an intern and check emails, banners, and link functionality for many important companies.
GB: I am the direct supervisor for the interns that come from Cristo Rey High School. I am the lead QA for Merkle’s direct digital marketing developer department in Chicago.
AH: The most rewarding experience as a Merkle intern has been gaining many new professional work skills and working with Fortune 500 brands.
GB: The most rewarding take away from my experience as a sponsor with the Cristo Rey interns has been being witness to the intellectual and personal growth the interns display. Their ability to perform QA testing and to write and understand their results is fantastic. I’m always greatly appreciative of their work.
AH: Working for N.A.S.A.
GB: Professional pool player
Favorite food: Mexican
Favorite TV show/movie: none
Favorite hobby/activity: construction
Favorite book: Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans
Guilty pleasure: Making money
Best advice or mantra you live by: Work smarter, not harder!
Favorite food: Popcorn
Favorite TV show/movie: Doom Patrol
Favorite hobby/activity: Watching sports
Favorite book: 1984 by George Orwell
Guilty pleasure: Naps
Best advice or mantra you live by: Ownership, thoroughness, and follow through.
Want to learn more? Merkle's Technology Strategy team recently partnered with Cristo Rey for a day of learning. Read about it here.