PENCIL is very excited about our upcoming Internship Program season and looking forward to serving hundreds of high school and college students as a provider of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s Ladders for Leaders Program. Students receive real-world work experience and have the opportunity to explore career options with training, mentoring, and résumé building, all while earning money toward their future.
We thought it would be better to hear from some of our top student alumni about what their experiences meant to them in our new “Intern Personals” column on the blog. First up, we spoke with Dashawn Jones. Here’s more about Dashawn and his advice for those thinking about applying:
Name: Dashawn Jones
School: Baruch College
Last Summer Internship: A2IM (American Association for Independent Music)
Special Skills: Public Speaking, Mindbody Software, Booker Software, Social Media Advertising, Fashion Design
Why are the Ladders for Leaders (L4L) and PENCIL programs important to you?
L4L and the PENCIL programs are conduits to successful futures for adolescents aspiring to professional careers. These programs provide students with internships that give them a unique perspective on corporate America, the insight which education alone cannot convey. Taking part in these programs allowed me to venture into the various departments of the corporate world and narrow down the type of career that aligns with my interests and passions. Curious students should explore the corporate world through interning. The experience they will gain and the professional network they will acquire will equip them with the necessary tools to succeed. L4L and PENCIL grant students special access to this valuable knowledge.
Any advice for students thinking about applying for the first time?
To those completing their applications for the first time, I congratulate you on taking the first steps toward solidifying your future. It is difficult to navigate the professional world and select which aspect of society you would like to participate in. L4L and PENCIL are the platforms necessary to venture into the realms of the corporate world. In your application, set yourself apart and include facets of your life that highlight your expectations for the future, incorporating the value of internships. Remember that through these experiences you are expanding your professional network. Become very acquainted with all your mentors and company representatives. Interning is life-changing.
What kind of opportunity are you seeking this summer / What are your thoughts on a future career?
The progress of my educational endeavors and internship experiences has molded my future career plans toward the field of industrial and organizational psychology. My adventures in the industries of beauty, fashion, and entertainment consolidated my passion for human resources. At each company, I explored interesting fields, yet I still felt dissatisfied and hopeless about finding a career that would accommodate my interests. After evaluating my journeys through the corporate world, I realized my true passion could not be limited simply to business. The most memorable aspect of my internships was the hiring process. I admired the interview procedures and the dynamics of employee interaction and was intrigued by the psychological facets of the business environment. Thus, spawned my career path. This summer, I want to work in the human resources department of an entertainment company.
Any additional thoughts on your experience?
School often categorizes us by numbers. It ranks us against one another and defines students’ ability to be successful according to their GPA. Understand that GPA is important, but do not allow it to cloud your vision of success. Experience is equally valuable. Companies want intellectual, well-rounded individuals that have more to offer than academic success. Make sure your college experience includes interning and gaining real-life experience.
Thank you, Dashawn! Apply to the Ladders for Leaders Internship Program today! Sign up now for a chance at your dream job for Summer 2018 and remember to select PENCIL as a provider. Find out more about the program, office hours and how to apply, here.