Summer Interns Explore Wide-Ranging Industry Sectors
During our Summer Internship Program, our students travel to different businesses for a chance to explore various industries and careers. The students get a firsthand look at a business environment, learn about different education and career paths from professionals, and practice their communication, interpersonal, and networking skills. This summer, students visited companies like AMC Networks, Morrison & Foerster, Prime Clerk, White Coffee, Scholastic, and many more. Thank you to our business partners for opening their doors to Futures and Options' interns so they could learn about jobs in different fields.
Morrison & Foerster
Opening Students' Eyes to the Legal Profession
On Wednesday, August 1st, a group of our summer interns visited Morrison & Foerster to learn about the firm and careers in law.
The students listened as the panelists spoke about their paths to MoFo and overcoming different challenges along the way. Attorneys Larren Nashelsky, Judge Jim Peck, Erica Richards, and Kat Mateo shared stories about their own lives, education paths, and offered helpful advice. Erica Richards said taking risks and facing the unknown is all worth it. She told how she tackled moving to a new city for a new job. Larren Nashelsky talked about getting by in high school and college. When he realized after college that he was not progressing, he asked himself: Are you going to be able to step up and really change how you live? What is important to you? Judge Peck said the challenges you face throughout your life are actually the launching pads to where you want to be. Kat Mateo spoke about not losing sight of the "why" and what drives you. Her biggest challenges were related to finances. She grew up in a housing project in the Bronx but kept pursuing her passion through various programs and internships. The interns took a guided tour of the office with Vikki Candiotti. They loved learning about the pop-up socials where the lawyers put fun into their days with smoothie bars, popcorn events, breakfast bars, and more. They learned that MoFo attorneys can move around to different offices all over the world.
When the students divided into small groups, they had a fantastic opportunity to ask more questions of the attorneys, who were wonderfully responsive and warm. When the topic of internships came up, each attorney explained why internships were important and that you can learn what you want to do, and maybe, what you do not want to do.
The MoFo visit was an outstanding experience for our students. Futures and Options is immensely appreciative of those at the firm who shared their time with our interns and were willing to speak about their own lives and those who coordinated all the activities.
Young Women in the Workplace
Exploring Female Empowerment in the Workplace
Young Women in the Workplace provides high school girls access to valuable professional work experience, career-readiness workshops, and the chance to develop a network of professional women. The Patrina Foundation, whose mission is to improve the lives of girls and women, makes it possible for five young women to participate in our Summer Internship Program. The interns work at organizations focusing on female empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community, such as Her Agenda, Black Women's Blueprint, and the YWCA.. To prepare them for future careers, the workshops focus on valuable skills like networking, teambuilding, leadership, financial literacy, and conflict resolution.
The young women also attend workshops on women-specific employment issues, such as the wage gap and sexism in the workplace. They are encouraged to discuss their own experiences with gender bias and relate those experiences to the unique challenges women face in the workplace.
The first workshop discussed gender norms and female leadership. Panelists included Dr. Melva Baker, a podiatrist and foot surgeon, Tiffany Brown, a third-year Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University's School of Education, and Liliana Nunez, a corporate internal auditor at Kuehne + Nagel and an alumna of Futures and Options. The women spoke about their career paths and the issues women of color face in the workforce, relating their own personal experiences. They also discussed the challenges they encountered in their careers and strategies for succeeding in their jobs.
The second workshop focused on the pay gap between men and women, with attention to the intersectionality of race and gender and the fact that women of color earn even less than white women. The young women learned that the wage gap varies based on factors like race, industry, sexual orientation, and disability status. The girls brainstormed the Do's and Don'ts of negotiating a salary to learn how to advocate effectively for equal pay. They were encouraged to address gender bias in their future careers by imagining ways they might approach real-life scenarios of sexism in the workplace. Lastly, they discussed the positive outcomes of fighting for women's empowerment.
Our huge thanks to The Patrina Foundation for supporting the Young Women in the Workplace program and enabling our young women to explore female empowerment in its different shapes and forms while they learn about the issues affecting girls and women on a local and global scale.
Intern Appreciation Day
On Friday, August 3rd, Futures and Options celebrated its Fourth Annual Intern Appreciation Day. This summer, our 385 students interned at 180 businesses partners, working a total of 63,105 hours. They learned work-readiness skills that will aid them in their education paths and future careers. On this special day, we appreciate the tremendous contributions our interns make during their internships. Thank you to our partners who joined us in celebrating the value-add of their interns!
Futures and Fashions
During the week leading up to Intern Appreciation Day our interns participated in our Futures and Fashions contest to show off their professional attire. Thanks to our judge, Lisa Ann Cox from Profile Industries who selected the winner and runner-up from all the submissions! Congratulations to runner-up Mark Rekutin and winner Mareefa Khanam. The winner received a $100 Gift Certificate to Gap and the runner-up a $50 Gift Certificate. Thank you to our interns who submitted wonderful fashion photos. We love your professional style!
Sosonia Ma interned with Futures and Options this summer as our operations and development intern. At the end of August, she heads back to Cornell University to start her sophomore year. She participated in the Futures and Options Internship Program in the spring of 2017, interning at The Hedaya Capital Group. She says her greatest accomplishment since participating in Futures and Options is "the motivation and determination it gave me to continue pursuing my dream job and career, and to never stop achieving something better and greater." Futures and Options has "opened my eyes to the real world and all the real world has to offer." We are very grateful for Sosonia's time with us as an intern, and we wish her the best of luck in her sophomore year!