The support we receive from our donors makes so many things possible for Steppingstone’s motivated, driven, and enthusiastic Scholars: 14 months of intensive summer and after school academic preparation, advising and support through every stage of middle and high school, and the opportunity to attend selective colleges that might otherwise have seemed out of reach. But did you know this support helps Scholars succeed in the “real world,” too?
Thanks to our donors, we are able to make a 10+ year commitment to every Scholar, and we give each one resources and guidance to help them successfully graduate from college and gain the skills they need to excel in the workplace. In recent years, that’s meant expanding our College Services department and providing Scholars with job readiness training, including seminars, internship opportunities, and more.
Steppingstone’s career readiness programming would not be possible without the support of community and corporate partners. Through the initiative of Steppingstone Ambassador Coleen Dinneen, we have recently forged a partnership with the Boston office of Natixis Global Asset Management. Natixis is one of the world’s largest asset managers, with offices throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Oceania, and we are thrilled to have their support in educating Scholars about a wide variety of careers.
In January, Scholars interested in pursuing careers in business and finance attended a panel with Natixis employees from departments throughout the organization (including portfolio management, law, technical support, and community relations). Scholars learned about each employee’s role during a discussion facilitated by Matt Waldman, Steppingstone’s Senior Director of College Services, and then asked questions and networked after the presentation. Some Scholars have even continued to build relationships with these professionals throughout the semester!
Natixis has also gone above and beyond in demonstrating their commitment by creating an internship position for Steppingstone Scholars. Last summer, Marynee Pontes ’05 (Tufts University ’16) interned with the marketing team at their office. While she gained exposure to a number of departments, she focused largely on analytics and monitoring trends. Here’s what she had to say about her time there:
My experience interning with Natixis allowed me to explore my different interests in an environment that encouraged and fostered my personal and professional training. The staff provided me with amazing resources that helped me through every stage of the internship. I am still connected with the people I worked with, and use the various skills I developed to network more effectively, navigate new spaces, and help determine my future.
One major trait Steppingstone instilled in me was the determination to strive for the best and to work hard in order to succeed. This trait, along with many others that I developed throughout my experience with Steppingstone, is still with me today, and has helped me at Natixis and in other experiences. They gave me the initial confidence I needed to succeed, and I’ve been able to effectively use that to push myself forward and achieve new goals.
This summer, Refjolah Malushi ’07, a Syracuse University Honors student, will take on her first professional role as an intern at Natixis. Refjolah’s relationships with both Syracuse and Natixis began at Steppingstone: she first visited the Syracuse campus on Steppingstone’s annual overnight college tour the summer before her senior year, and her introduction to Natixis was through their partnership with Steppingstone.
We are grateful to Natixis for providing such meaningful opportunities for Steppingstone Scholars, and to the many other organizations that have helped us build Steppingstone’s career services.
The College Services department is currently working on exciting new initiatives in order to expand this part of the program – stay tuned for announcements coming in the fall!
Are you interested in helping Steppingstone Scholars jumpstart their careers? We’d love to speak with you! Email Matt Waldman, Senior Director of College Services, today at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteer opportunities range from simply talking on the phone with a Scholar to hosting an event. There are many ways to support hardworking Scholars!