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Snapshot of Success: Karey Benitez Villegas

Karey Benitez Villegas, a senior at St. Jean Baptiste High School, participated in the Futures and Options 2016 Summer Internship Program. Futures and Options' workshops helped Karey develop her professional skills, which eventually led to her successful interview for a summer internship at Mesmerize Marketing, a media agency that specializes in point-of-care marketing at clinics, pharmacies, and doctor's offices. Karey's hard work and dedication as an intern proved to be a valuable asset to the Mesmerize team. So much so, that upon her completion of the summer internship, Mesmerize Marketing offered Karey a raise and extended her internship through the fall.

Impressed by her maturity and curiosity, Karey's supervisors at Mesmerize Marketing describe her as "very bright and always asking the right questions." Throughout the course of her summer internship, Karey helped the Mesmerize team by researching medical facilities that are part of the company's network, and by assisting with data entry. The Mesmerize Marketing team initially gave Karey a single project to work on for the entire summer. However, Karey finished the project within the first two weeks of her internship, leading to additional projects and increased responsibilities throughout the summer.

Karey believes the workshops she attended through the Futures and Options Internship Program truly prepared her for the 'real world' experiences she has encountered at Mesmerize Marketing. While in the program, Karey attended workshops covering a host of topics ranging from lessons in taking initiative and expanding professional networks, to the development of strong communication techniques and presentation skills.

"Futures and Options taught me it's always good to set a goal with an achievable timeframe, and that it's important to ask questions. From my point of view, this is a great way to motivate myself to become more successful both in my professional and personal objectives. For example, I have always been very shy so at the beginning of my internship, I made a goal to take steps to be more confident and communicative by the end of the first month. When the first month actually passed, I witnessed that I was no longer shy, that if anything, I was comfortable enough in myself to uphold any conversation."

When asked about the best part of her experience with Mesmerize Marketing so far, Karey replied, "Everybody is welcoming, which has helped me become more confident and able to open up to my coworkers and peers at the office."

This fall Karey continues to wow the Mesmerize Marketing team on a part-time basis while she simultaneously focuses on completing high school and preparing for college, where she now wants to study marketing.

Futures and Options' partnership with Mesmerize Marketing exemplifies the mutually beneficial nature of Future and Options' Internship Program: organizations are provided with excellent quality interns, and participating students gain invaluable exposure to the professional world. To learn about other companies that are participating in this cycle of success, contact Futures and Options Business Engagement Manager Corey Ogilby, or call 212-601-0002

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Futures and Options is a nonprofit career development and paid internship program for New York City youth.

120 Broadway, Suite 1019. New York, NY 10271. 212-601-0002.