This year, we have a heavy intern presence, comprising of both high school and college students. In addition to hiring interns directly from colleges since 2005, HAKS has been partnering with the New York City School Construction Authority (SCA) Summer Internship Program (SIP) to assist in the recruitment of high school students. We have continued our commitment and volunteered as hosts every year since then. The SCA offers paid six-week internships through SIP, which matches interns to available positions based on their career interests and skills. HAKS is one of the firms chosen to serve as intern host for the 2015 program season. The majority of interns go on to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, business, and information technology. These students participate in staff meetings and on-the-job training and are assigned program supervisors who monitor their performance through bi-weekly meetings between the interns and their supervisors. Interns who successfully complete the six-week program receive high school credit.
For the first time, we have also teamed with the New York City Ladders for Leaders, a program launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2006 to expose motivated high school and college students to professional career opportunities while providing them with resources to complete their education. Interns accepted into the program are between the ages of 16 and 21 and are selected through a rigorous application, interview, and pre-employment process. In an effort to engage with our youth and develop our communities, HAKS has partnered with Ladders for Leaders to provide interns with meaningful and supervised work experiences that include special projects in addition to day-to-day responsibilities, client meetings, department-wide activities, and networking opportunities.
Chi Fai “Benny” Chen (see photo top left), currently interning in HAKS’ Marketing Department, was chosen through the rigorous Ladders for Leaders application process. He describes the program as rewarding and beneficial, one that has allowed him to learn and train in a professional environment. “A lot of kids don’t know what to do or where to go for internships. Ladders for Leaders provided me a great opportunity to not only keep busy this summer but to also grow and hopefully gain employment.” He specifically commends Mayor de Blasio for his continued support and encouragement of youth. “A friend of mine who works for the NY State Assembly informed me that the Mayor wanted the program expanded to increase opportunities for employment after graduation from college, as students were lacking work experience. Last year, the program only accepted 50 students, this year it was 600!” As Benny explains, “the Mayor is even making calls on behalf of students looking for specific internships and/or jobs.” Benny, along with other Ladders for Leaders interns, is grateful for the time and the experience.
HAKS is delighted and honored to host the 2015 interns as we strive to inspire, motivate and develop our communities—one intern at a time. Commented a Ladders for Leaders graduate, “This program made us realize that the future is not in ten years, or five years, or even tomorrow. The future starts right here, right now and we have the ability to mold it as we see fit.”