The Core Internship Program The Futures and Options Core Internship Program is offered continuously throughout the year to juniors and seniors from New York City's high schools. Private and nonprofit businesses are welcome to join as internship partners throughout the year, and represent various employment sectors – financial, small business, technology, real estate, retail and nonprofit. The interns attend monthly work-readiness workshops and meet for special career development and exploration field trips.
In addition to our Core Internship Program, Futures and Options offers internship programs for specific high schools and industry sectors.
The George Westinghouse High School Internship Program Thanks to funding from HSBC, 40 students from George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School in Brooklyn work as interns at various New York City businesses. Thanks to HSBC's support for the past eight years, more than 180 young people have received the benefits of this Futures and Options Internship Program.
The Urban Leadership Fellows Program (ULF) is a partnership between Futures and Options and The Municipal Forum of New York, Inc. Since 1996, The Municipal Forum has provided funding for this extraordinary six-week summer program, designed to attract diverse and motivated young people to careers in the municipal finance sector. The students attend New York City public schools with the Academy of Finance program as well as Inner-City Scholarship Fund schools. Since the program began in 1992, with three youth from three high schools, more than 450 young people have been ULF interns. In 2012, 39 interns were placed at 34 sites, and $44,500 was given to 44 alums. For a fact sheet on the program please click here.
One of the key components of The ULF Program is the presentation workshops facilitated by Ken Scudder of Virgil Scudder & Associates. Ken Scudder posted an article on his blog about the workshops- click here to view.
The Futures and Options Summer Internship Program Thanks to the Charles Hayden Foundation's support, Futures and Options implements a six-week summer internship program at private and nonprofit businesses for high school juniors and seniors, predominantly from Frederick Douglass Academy. The Charles Hayden Foundation has funded this program since 2004, providing internships for 205 youth.
Key Components of the Internship Program
There are five integral components to the Futures and Options Internship Program, which ensure that the internship is rewarding for the intern as well as the partnering business. The five components are the student recruitment and application process, intern placement, career readiness workshops and monitoring, and collaboration with school staff and mentors/supervisors.
Student Recruitment and Application Process Each school semester, Futures and Options recruits students in coordination with partnering schools as well as through the Futures and Options website and various referrals. School administrators, counselors and teachers publicize Futures and Options and the opportunities it offers, and recommend interested students to the program on the basis of attendance, motivation, and satisfactory academic achievement. After the students submit the required Internship Program application, Futures and Options staff interview and assess the eligible candidates. Juniors and seniors who are not able to be placed in the program are offered the opportunity to attend the College Guidance Initiative workshops.
Intern Placement Before Futures and Options sends internship candidates to employers, our staff meets with prospective employers and the supervisors/mentors to assess the work situation, explore the interns' responsibilities, and discuss the supervisors/mentors' role. After assessing each student's abilities, goals and interests, Futures and Options schedules interviews for prospective interns with compatible firms. Futures and Options places students at internship sites representing the major fields of employment: securities and finance, business, technology, real estate, arts and culture, and nonprofit. Futures and Options usually places a student who is pursuing a special curriculum in school within a matching field or industry. Employers pay interns a minimum of $8.00 per hour. When funding is available for student stipends, Futures and Options' places interns at both private and nonprofit businesses.
Career Readiness Workshops After internship placements are confirmed, the interns may attend group or individual orientation sessions, which include work-readiness workshops that focus on interpersonal skills, proper business demeanor, dress and self presentation as well as interviewing skills, resume writing, attentive listening and office technology. They also learn about their Futures and Options responsibilities and the required weekly or monthly workshops. At the required workshops interns explore career options, discuss interpersonal relationship situations, and practice communication, problem solving and negotiating skills. They also learn personal finance, time management, goal setting and networking skills. Interns visit with professionals during the workshops as well as at their businesses to learn firsthand about different careers.
Monitoring Throughout the internship, Futures and Options' staff meet with the supervisors/mentors on-site and with the interns at their internship sites and during the workshops. Futures and Options' staff regularly call and visit each internship site to evaluate intern progress and work site quality. Since these are paid internships, Futures and Options' makes clear to all that an internship may be terminated. Interns recognize and accept this meaningful reality.
Collaboration with School Staff and Mentors/Supervisors The close coordination among school personnel, supervisors/mentors and Futures and Options staff reflects their shared commitment to support the growth and success of each student, and is a core element in the program's success. Futures and Options' staff regularly hold meetings with supervisors/mentors and school teachers, counselors and coordinators to reinforce the role each plays in the education of the interns.