Jean Colas, Related Beal
Jean Colas’ earliest memories of architecture and engineering involved playing at home, using shoeboxes to build miniature cities. Now a senior at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, Jean looks to pursue his childhood dream and major in engineering or architecture in college.
Prior to summer 2021, Jean worked with his PIC Career Specialist to apply to internships that would allow him to explore his field of interest. He was thrilled to be hired by real estate management and construction company Related Beal. His internship there provided a valuable learning experience and an opportunity to build connections in the field.
During his two-month in-person internship, Jean worked under the supervision of Assistant Project Manager Jesse LaMontagne to complete the unit inspections at the company’s new commercial and residential property at 370-380 Harrison. Jean’s role was to check that the building’s appliances and furnishings were in working order. He learned to use various spreadsheets to input his findings and submit these reports to his supervisors, contributing to keeping the project on track to meet its scheduled completion date. In addition, by working with various teams on-site, Jean received an up-close look at the multiple paths he could pursue as an engineer, including civil and mechanical engineering.
Jean’s internship at Related Beal also allowed him to establish professional relationships with his mentors, who describe him as an intelligent, skilled, and diligent worker who put his best foot forward each day he came on the job site. Months after his internship ended, Jean continues to stay in touch with his mentor, who is providing ongoing advice as he makes decisions about college and career.
Phyls Eutsay, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Wayfair
Phyls Eutsay is passionate about helping the homeless in her South End community, but she doesn’t know how she will choose to give back in the future. A senior fashion major at the Boston Arts Academy, Phyls is interested in both art and science.
Phyls’ PIC Career Specialist worked with her to find internship opportunities where she could explore the career pathways that interested her, connecting her with her first internship with Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2020. Working remotely, Phyls was able to build on her lifelong love for science and learn new skills including how to make DNA strands with the molecule kit Vertex provided and how to make pipette liquids. Phyls also learned about Vertex’s work on treating rare diseases and how this work creates change in people’s lives.
In the summer of 2021, her Career Specialist directed Phyls to another online internship, this time in Wayfair’s marketing department. Over two months, Phyls honed her communications skills and delved into research, branding, and marketing. Although she has learned all of these topics at school, says Phyls, her experience at Wayfair elevated her skills to the next level and helped her feel more confident, particularly with her public speaking and communicating ideas to others. In addition to her personal and professional growth over the summer, Phyls had a chance to meet Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah and learn how Wayfair helps to address homelessness.
Reflecting on her two virtual summer internships, Phyls says she’s grateful to the PIC for giving her the opportunity to explore different careers and learn how those careers will help her fulfill her goal of helping others.
Bernie Lennon, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Electrical Project Manager Bernard “Bernie” Lennon (left) and Jerrika Richards, 2021 summer intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston (right).
Today’s Interns, Tomorrow’s Professionals—a longstanding partnership between the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Boston Private Industry Council—has provided more than 750 Boston Public Schools students with summer jobs over the past 26 years. The internship program gives students a broad range of career exploration opportunities, from finance and administration roles to positions as electricians.
Electrical Project Manager Bernard “Bernie” Lennon has supervised interns for more than five years. He sees the program as an opportunity to share his experience with interns and help them build promising careers. While students can be taught some essential workplace skills in school, Bernie said he believes hands-on field experience is the best way to learn a trade.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Bernie developed an online curriculum that allowed intern Jerrika Richards—a 2021 graduate of Madison Park Technical Vocational High School—to gain experience using tools, learning proper procedures, and working with different types of equipment. He sent Jerrika the tools and materials she needed to work on wiring projects. They also leveraged technology for their project consultations and reviews.
By quickly creating a virtual internship experience, Bernie was able to continue mentoring Jerrika, who is now enrolled at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston and studying to become a licensed electrician.