Spotlight on Career Exploration
Deloitte: The Students' Perspective
Published in January 2013 E-Newsletter
By Cindy Neri and Stephanie Baichu, Career Essentials Interns, Fall 2012.
Futures and Options' Career Essentials high school students took a walk to visit Deloitte's World Financial Center on November 26, 2012. Deloitte is the largest of the "Big 4" accounting firms, with almost 200,000 employees worldwide.
Our high school students were given the opportunity to learn a few things about some of Deloitte's employees through an ice breaker called Two Truths and a Lie. Our students learned that one of the employees has testified before Congress and jumped out of an airplane. How cool!
Students were then given a tour of the office. The office is really big so they didn't get to see the whole thing. Some employees make use of perks, like the two fitness centers, so they can get a quick workout before or after work.
After the tour there was a panel in which our students asked questions like "What is a typical work day at Deloitte?" "Do you travel to different places?" and "What puts Deloitte in the Big 4?" If you think people who work in the accounting field have mundane work lives, you are wrong. Deloitte volunteers taught our students that it's never too late to figure out what you want to be in life. Some employees have degrees in subjects that have nothing to do with accounting, such as dance and drama. Some employees still don't know what they are ultimately destined to do.
Our students all enjoyed the visit and are grateful for those who stayed to show them around, answer their questions, and help them realize how an accounting firm works.
Thank you Deloitte, and thanks to the individuals who helped arrange this visit: Futures and Options Board Member Jon Lamphier and Deloitte's Christine Wade!
To learn more about Career Essentials, please contact Matt Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-601-0002. To learn about hosting students for a career exploration field trip, contact Joanna Munoz at email@example.com or call 212-601-0002.
Students Get an Inside Look into Top Companies
Published in April 2012 E-Newsletter
What do you get when you mix twenty-two enthusiastic high school students, a youthful, entrepreneurial company, and engaged volunteers passionate about their work? A home-run Career Essentials High School Program field trip to eyewear start-up Warby Parker! From the moment our students walked through the door, they were made to feel welcome and valued. The Warby Parker team went above and beyond in connecting with our students and exposing them to life at a fast-growing startup.
After a quick tour of the office, our group gathered over snacks for an introduction to the company. Volunteers told the story of the Warby Parker's founding and explained in detail their innovative model of eyewear design and manufacturing, customer service, and doing good in the world. The presentation flowed seamlessly into a down-to-earth career panel, during which several volunteers shared their stories and explained how their roles contribute to Warby Parker's overall mission. By being incomparably welcoming, positive, and accessible in their presentations, the volunteers inspired our students with their entrepreneurial spirit and empowered them to think creatively about their own career interests.
On March 26th, our Career Essentials Middle School Program students got a first-hand look into the inner workings of Gap's 5th Avenue store. Robert Bazayev, Senior Customer Experience Manager, welcomed us and showed the students a video giving them an overview of the company. Then students were broken up into groups and each group was taken to four different departments within the store, including branding/merchandising, loss prevention, stock, and sales.
A Gap representative from each department, David Smith (Branding), Farah Faustin and Alejandro Rodriguez (Stock), LaShawn Myres and Chelsea Anderson (Sales), and Jessica Kusuman and Dineen Lopez (Loss Prevention) showed the students the different aspects of how a retail store operates. Students learned how to merchandize clothing on the sales floor to what to look for when spotting a shoplifter. It was eye-opening for all to see the expansiveness of the industry and the work that goes into running a retail store.
Students left this field trip with a much improved knowledge of the various careers one could have in the retail industry and the skills needed to be successful. We are enormously grateful to all of the Gap volunteers for providing an engaging and informative event for our middle school teens.
On March 27th, an eager group of 20 high school students in our Career Essentials High School Program ventured out to Saatchi & Saatchi'sstunning SoHo offices for an evening exploring careers in advertising. Students met members of the Saatchi team with responsibilities ranging from market research to video production and asked questions about their jobs and career paths over a pizza dinner. Christine DeNoon and Kathleen Giacobello from human resources led an interactive presentation on interviewing do's and don'ts and helped the students practice introducing themselves with good, strong handshakes. The evening wrapped up with a fun video-reel of some of Saatchi & Saatchi's favorite advertisements and a tour of their offices.
The student's were particularly impressed by the rooftop running-track and garden! The takeaway message: careers in advertising take a lot of hard work, but the rewards of having interesting projects and being surrounded by creative, articulate and fun colleagues make it all pay off. Thank you to Christine and Kathleen, and all of the Saatchi & Saatchi volunteers, for preparing such a great event for our students!
If you are interested in partnering with Futures and Options for career exploration, please contact Joanna Munoz, Strategic Partnerships Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-601-0002.
Investment Banking 101 at Jefferies & Co.
Published in February 2011 E-Newsletter
Jefferies & Company, Inc. has been a partner of Futures and Options since 1997, when their municipal securities group began hosting an intern each summer as part of the Urban Leadership Fellows Program. On February 16th, the bank expanded their commitment to our mission when their investment banking division welcomed a group of our pre-interns, interns and alumni for an informative career exploration program – "Investment Banking 101."
Interns Davon Dirton and Anthony Castillo at Jefferies & Company.
Michele Vespi, Head of US Recruiting for Jefferies, opened the program by welcoming the students to the firm and leading an activity to break the ice. Michele then introduced Matt Remsen, an analyst in Jefferies M&A group, who walked the students through a PowerPoint presentation covering the basics of investment banking. Special thanks to Matt, who clearly put a lot of thought into the presentation. He contrasted traditional vs. investment banking and then discussed the range of services offered by an investment bank, including debt & equity raising, M&A advising and restructuring advice.
Panel of five Jefferies analysts participate in Q&A.
Following Matt's presentation, Laura Barkin moderated a Q&A with a panel of five analysts – Matt, Mike McCarthy (Healthcare), Monica Jamaluddin (Financial Services), Christine Hwong (M&A) and Celso Goncalves (LatAm). The panel answered questions about their path to investment banking, the people they looked to for advice during college, recommended classes, and the best and worst parts of their jobs. After the panel, Michele energized the room with a lively quiz and prizes. She then opened the session up to allow students to ask the panelists questions, and we closed with a chance for the students to network with all of the Jefferies volunteers.
The event was a tremendous success, and Futures and Options extends a huge thank you to the Jefferies US Recruiting team – Michele, Laura and Alyssa Murstein – for hosting our students in a well planned, fabulously executed career exploration program. Our students walked away with a solid look into the life of an investment banking analyst, and they capitalized on a fantastic opportunity to hone their networking skills.
Pfizer Opens Its Door to Futures and Options
This July, 30 Futures and Options summer interns from The Frederick Douglass Academy were welcomed at Pfizer, Inc. Thanks to the efforts of our board member Ozias Moore, Team Leader, US Vendor Operations and Savitri Basavaiah, Director, Primary Care Strategy & Innovation, the interns were treated to a morning of career exploration activities with a cadre of more than 20 Pfizer volunteers.
Pfizer volunteer Nadia Johnson and Futures and Options student Shayla Russell.
The Pfizer Career Exploration Day was top notch! The interns met in Pfizer's state-of-the-art conference center for a presentation on the pharmaceutical industry and Pfizer's history. Following this excellent introduction to the industry and company, a panel of volunteers who work in various departments – legal, medical affairs, finance, customer engagement and sales, strategy, promotion and vendor operations – shared stories about their education and career paths as well as their jobs at Pfizer. In addition, they were terrific advisors! The interns received valuable suggestions about college majors, the importance of being open and having a positive attitude and other worthwhile tips about what it takes to successfully choose a career. The remainder of the morning was filled with engaging activities run by the volunteers, who conducted mock interviews, critiqued resumes and led a breakout workshop on networking skills.
The interns walked away from this experience more knowledgeable about Pfizer as well as more prepared for their next real interview, as well as with a new appreciation of the value of networking. We are tremendously grateful to everyone from Pfizer who volunteered and gave their time and expertise to our interns, who were happy to share their thoughts about the day with us:
"I now have an interest in perhaps working for Pfizer or applying for the internship in December. I was always interested in the medical field, and hope to either become a doctor or biomedical engineer, just hearing the panel speak of their experiences made me even more confident going into very hard fields. I think more children my age would benefit from an event like this, where they get advice, learn networking skills and talk to people who may have had some of their struggles."
"I gained a whole different perspective on the pharmaceutical field. I'm also leaning towards becoming a doctor but the pharmaceutical field has really caught my attention whether I become a pharmacist or a biomedical engineer."
"As a college freshmen I plan to study pre-pharmacy so the Pfizer field trip was especially important to me. The best part of the Pfizer trip was the panel. They were very informative and seemed very intrigued by the students. Additionally the resume critiquing and mock interviews were very informative. I learned how to speak about myself properly and sell myself on paper. The Pfizer field trip to me was a total success, and the lunch was an extra bonus."
"This opportunity to me was one in million, so I will like to sincerely thank everyone who had a hand in the event. From the event I learned that networking is key and essential. It increases one's chances of getting a job in their field. Before the event, I was already interested in the medical field, specifically dentistry. Attending the event made me surer and more intrigued about studying dentistry."
"I was very much interested in the fact that most of the panelists were involved in so many different fields before tapping into Pfizer. That just goes to show that you don't have to know exactly what you want in life and you don't have to be stuck doing one thing for all your years. It's good to branch out and explore outside your comfort zone."