Futures and Options provides career-readiness workshops and the Internship Program for its strategic partners, leveraging our expertise in youth career development and allowing for increased opportunities for New York City students. This year, we were excited to partner with the following schools, corporations, and nonprofit partners.
This year, Futures and Options was thrilled to pilot The Externship Experience, an employer-driven remote career exploration program, with Salesforce, a longstanding strategic partner. The program offered mentorship, skills trainings, and project-based learning to 15 young people from across the city, introducing them to a range of careers at Salesforce and helping them connect their individual goals and passions to Salesforce’s greater mission of improving the world through technology.
Salesforce designed the program to include opportunities for coaching and support from employees with a diverse range of backgrounds. This included junior team members who could describe their transitions from school to work, representatives from Salesforce’s many Employee Resource Groups who described their experiences identifying community within the company, and more experienced team members who acted as mentors and advisors to students as they participated in skill-building trainings and developed their final presentations. At the end of the week-long program, one participant emphasized that these opportunities for relationship-building were the most beneficial aspect of the program, noting that “the coaching and one-on-one opportunities were invaluable. The advice I got really helped me understand what being successful in a career means to me.”
“Salesforce designed the program to include opportunities for coaching and support from employees with a diverse range of backgrounds.”
The program culminated with virtual presentations from students on “hacking the SDGs,” which related to Salesforce’s commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Students selected a goal that was personally meaningful to them, such as expanding renewable energy, taking bold action against climate change, and making cities inclusive, safe, and resilient. Guided by their mentors, they proposed creative ways that Salesforce could partner with other businesses and local governments to solve problems impacting these goals. Participants were able to connect Salesforce’s work with important global initiatives to their own interests.
The Externship Experience allowed Futures and Options to reimagine the possibility and potential of engaging virtual career development opportunities for youth. With Salesforce as a partner that is eager to invest in our students, preparing them for the world of work and showing them that they can build careers that connect their skills, interests, and passions, our students’ success shows no bounds.