Last spring, in the midst of a pandemic, over 500,000 low-income and first-generation seniors graduated college. They found themselves in a sea of uncertainty, navigating a complicated job market and competition from more experienced workers vying for entry-level roles. Students from under-represented communities started out in an uneven playing field, lacking access to social capital or the ability to take advantage of networks and relationships to achieve their potential.
Young people today must pursue internships while in college. Research has shown that internships can allow students to obtain the competencies, confidence, connections and experiences that will lead to strong first jobs and the ability to see the full ROI of their college degree. A study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) acknowledges that 91% of employers prefer candidates to have work experience, and 65% prefer candidates to have relevant work experience.
But we are seeing hundreds of college graduates come to StreetWise after it’s too late. Their college campuses failed to educate them and they are shut out of these important aspects of career development. In NYC, we serve hundreds of city college graduates who have no idea that internships even exist. They enter the job market at a deficit, and have no way to catch up.
At StreetWise, we are committed to tackling the structural inequities that have plagued our students. We have launched a new 6-week summer intensive to ensure our young people have the tools and knowledge to land sought-after internships within the finance and technology job functions. We are demystifying the internship application process, and helping students identify opportunities, navigate key deadlines and produce deliverables including sophisticated resumes and biographies. Their mentors make sure they are prepared for the internship application process. This summer we will be connecting our participants to internship and networking opportunities at companies like Tradeweb, First Republic Bank, Fitch Ratings and more.
We aim to serve 650 job and internship seekers this year, and to strengthen their path towards a first professional position and the opportunity to find not just a job, but a career. Join us, as a mentee, a mentor or an employer.