LEARN Internships Boosted This Alumna’s Career Prospects

The past seven years have taught me that although I graduated from LEARN years ago, LEARN will always be with me. Throughout my time as a scholar and then as an intern at LEARN, a charter public school network based on Chicago’s West Side, I heard the same phrase many times: “Building a foundation for the future.” LEARN has helped me do that in my education and also in providing important career experiences.

I attended LEARN as a student, went on to Walter Payton College Prep and then to New York University. LEARN hired me as an intern for the summer following my freshman year of high school. Then, each summer for the past seven years, they invited me back. My internships helped me develop basic skills in Microsoft Office and Google applications. They also helped me improve vital soft skills: time management, accountability, project management, communication and public speaking.

My LEARN internships have been tremendous opportunities, filled with growth, and most importantly– experience.

Exploring Career Passions; Building Career Skills

I started as an office assistant before moving to the network’s non-profit charter management office.  I’ve worked as an intern to the human resources, development, and IT teams. In summer 2013 I held the role of marketing and communications intern. All of these roles have been huge learning opportunities and exposed me to the difficult and multi-faceted aspects of running and running high-quality schools.

My summer 2013 internship allowed me to work with a supervisor who pushed me to explore my passions with an eye toward future career possibilities. As a hospitality and event management major at New York University (NYU), marketing is a large component of my program. This internship provided me with first-hand marketing experience, including crafting press releases, creating social media content, and content writing for LEARN’s new website.

I also worked with the LEARN events assistant to help plan an event for 500 LEARN staff, held in October 2013. Together, we researched venues, recommended a run of show, and coordinated logistics. I also produced video footage for various videos to be featured at the event. All of these assignments have provided valuable experience which I know I can use for positions within my career field. Already, in interviews for campus jobs, I often cite my experiences at LEARN, which have led to job offers.

I am thankful for my education at LEARN and its internship program. They have greatly shaped my character and affected the path I am on. Being here has encouraged me to want to give back to the West Side community once I graduate from college. LEARN helped build the foundation for my future. I cannot wait to continue building a better Chicago in the years to come.

See original article on Chicago Unheard.

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