Career Essentials Profile



The Bronx High School of Science
Class of 2021
Pennsylvania State University
Class of 2025
Career Essentials
Spring 2021
ULF Program
Summer 2021
"I already had the basic foundation for some skills, but Career Essentials and the ULF Program both helped develop them even more."

Youngbin Song heralds his experience in Career Essentials for helping him gain “the very fundamentals of working in a professional environment.” Youngbin later participated in the Urban Leadership Fellows (ULF) Program in municipal finance and is now a freshman at Penn State University, planning to study finance and continue building upon what he learned through Futures and Options. 

Youngbin learned about Futures and Options from a fellow graduate from his high school. He knew that he was interested in a career in finance and investment banking and believed Futures and Options would grant him valuable insight into the industry. In Career Essentials, Youngbin gained in-depth knowledge about business writing, Excel, professional email etiquette, and networking, recognizing that these are important skills he can use now and in his future career. “I already had the basic foundation for some skills, but Career Essentials and the ULF Program both helped develop them even more,” he said. “Since I’m pursuing a career in finance, these are especially important to my future.” 

A key component of Career Essentials is the Create-A-Company project in which students work in groups to develop a company and present it to their peers and judges on the final workshop day. “That was the best part of Career Essentials since it taught us collaboration and presentation skills,” he said. “It was an opportunity to think outside the box creatively and as an entrepreneur.” Youngbin valued working with his group to develop their mock company, and also enjoyed watching the other presentations to compare and contrast them to his group’s pitch and identify points where he and his group could improve their presentation. 

The Create-A-Company project was also a great precursor for a similar group project that he completed in the ULF Program in which he and his group presented a mock capital financing plan for a higher education institution. “The whole process of working together as a group to create that presentation and then presenting it to a group of experienced professionals in the credit rating and investment banking industry was a super cool experience that taught me very hands-on skills,” he said. 

Due to the pandemic, Youngbin’s ULF Program was virtual, with fellows participating in remote online workshops. Fellows were also matched with mentors, which Youngbin found to be an especially beneficial aspect of the program as he still speaks to his mentor today. “It was definitely something that required much improvisation from the program side and the mentor and student side,” he said. “It required a lot of collaboration from all parties and that really showed how much effort everyone put into trying to get it to work and staying resilient.” His experience was different from what he expected of a typical internship due to the virtual nature of the program, but he found it to be a valuable learning and networking opportunity that has prepared him for future success.

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FY2021 Annual Report

Futures and Options FY2021 Annual Report