Applicants reflect on interview strengths, areas for improvement, and takeaways. From left: juniors Keimon Dupree (Central Catholic), Alexys Riley (Serra Catholic), and Nicaela Greenlee (Serra Catholic)
Upperclassmen scholars arrived at the Calland Center in their Sunday best this week for the beginning of a brand new chapter in their Crossroads journeys. Each was advancing to in-person interviews--the final round of the application process for Crossroads’ Corporate Sponsorship Program, a selective summer internship and mentoring experience that piloted last summer with great success.
This year’s scholars will be matched with a number of prominent Pittsburgh companies in various industries, including Cipriani & Werner (law), Babst Calland (law), Lally & Co. (accounting), Newmark Knight Frank (real estate), Pittsburgh Magazine (media), and Hayes Design Group (architecture). Each company hosts an intern for a minimum of 80 hours over the summer, and teaches him or her the ins and outs of the industry as well as professional skills including communication, career awareness, workplace culture, and professionalism.
Interviews were conducted by a group of Crossroads alumni and Young Professionals Leadership Council (YPLC) volunteers, who were joined by two senior scholar co-interviewers--Vinicius Santos (Seton-La Salle) and Anwara Tayloradams (Oakland Catholic)--who served as interns last summer.
From left: Crossroads alumnus Ryan McCarthy (Central Catholic ‘99), YPLC member Mariah McGrogan, and alumnus Malik Johnson (Central Catholic ‘10). McCarthy and McGrogan are attorneys at Reed Smith and Jackson Lewis, respectively; Johnson is an accountant at Rice Energy.
Crossroads alumnus Ryan McCarthy (Central Catholic ‘99), currently an associate at Reed Smith, led the interview for a law internship. “I was very impressed,” said Ryan. “This is great exposure for our young scholars to an extremely important skill necessary for success in a professional environment.”
Jaiden Mazefsky, a junior at Oakland Catholic, echoed McCarthy’s enthusiasm and appreciated the involvement of Crossroads YPLC members and alumni: “I think it is really important to connect with people closer to our age, who have recently graduated high school or college. It gives us examples and role models who have just been in our shoes and connect better with our experiences currently.”
Our internship sponsors are equally excited about gearing up for another year. Pamela Lowery, who together with Gerard McLaughlin will be hosting an intern again this summer at Newmark Knight Frank, described her office’s commitment to the program: “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s future. We have a civic responsibility to do what we can to assist in making our youth the best they can be,” says Pam. “To have an opportunity to learn an industry first-hand and from top executives, is an invaluable way to explore a possible career path.”
Once internship matches are finalized next week, scholars and sponsors will convene for a meet-and-greet event at Crossroads in March, which will be followed by mentor training for supervisors and a resume and career skills workshop for the interns in May. The actual internships will begin in mid-June and run throughout summer.
To learn more about this program, or to inquire about joining as a sponsoring company or individual, please contact Crossroads’ Development Director Elvira Hoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Program Coordinator Sean Hoover (email@example.com).