Ask an Urban Alliance employee what they love most about working here and our students will always be top of the list. They are our north star and the reason we have a smile on our face walking in the door each morning.
But a very close second on that list is our partners. We are incredibly blessed to work with a community that is just as dedicated to our students’ success as we are. From professional development sessions, to speaking opportunities, events, and more, our partners often go above and beyond to offer our students the best possible first professional experience.
This month alone, partners in each region gave our interns wonderful opportunities to learn and grow.
Partners in Washington, D.C. and Chicago offered our interns the chance to learn and hone their professional skills. In D.C., new partner Microsoft hosted interns for an afternoon of coding and career exploration. Students had the opportunity to learn a valuable new skill, and hear directly from Microsoft employees, including Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries, about their career pathways and the varied employment options in the STEM field. Students capped off an exciting visit with a tour of Microsoft’s most advanced technology. In Chicago, long-time partner The Second City, a legendary improv group, hosted interns for a fun and informative improv workshop. With the annual Public Speaking Challenge around the corner, interns had the opportunity to hone their presentation skills, getting more comfortable speaking in front of an audience and learning to think on their feet.
In addition to developing critical soft skills, Urban Alliance interns also build confidence and learn to make their voices heard during this experience. Partners in Detroit, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. recently gave our interns a microphone to amplify those voices. In Detroit, Bedrock Detroit invited intern Mark Turner to speak on a panel about bridging the generation gap in the workplace. Mark was the voice of the upcoming generation, Gen Z, sharing his own experience as a window into the challenges and opportunities of this next generation of talent and how to engage across generations to foster innovation and inclusion. In Baltimore, long-time partner Wide Angle Youth Media helped to elevate intern Justice Georgie’s writing talent. They helped him produce a beautifully-designed copy of a poem he wrote for his favorite teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week and shared it widely. And in Washington, D.C., The Grassroot Project, a youth health education nonprofit, has given interns Ne’ala Prue and Myaira Arnold the opportunity to practice their writing skills, tasking them with producing several blog posts that have been published on their website and shared widely. These writing assignments have given the young women an opportunity to hone their professional communication, as well as a chance to learn interviewing techniques and gain a deeper understanding of the community work done at their job site.
While working in a professional office is a new and exciting experience for our interns, they also love getting the chance to attend special events as part of their internships. Our largest partner in Northern Virginia, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, often invites interns along to special events to learn more about event planning and management, as well as the exciting range of options that a career in STEM an offer. Interns Gabriela Ortiz, Michelle Wakhweya, Nathalie Monteflores, and Marivel Llamas Garcia spent a Saturday helping out at the USPTO’s Third Annual Military Invention Day at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Our students had the opportunity to meet and learn from the University of Pittsburgh’s Dr. Rory A. Cooper, a pioneer in the field of human-centered design and bioengineering, leaving full of knowledge and inspired to dream big. In Chicago, KPMG, a signature partner with our Obama Youth Jobs Corps program, invited interns Tyree Pipkins and Kamaria Grayson to WE Day Illinois 2019, an annual celebration of young people doing good and making a difference in their communities. While there, Tyree and Kamaria also met U.S. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, KPMG’s U.S. Literacy Champion.