2021: Summer Success

Professional development ideas for a post-pandemic world

Interested in hosting a professional development program for Boston-area students? Learn from some of our local industry partners about best practices for engaging students in a post-pandemic world and creating a program that helps young people feel prepared for college, career and life after school.

My organization wants to create a new summer program for students. What should I know?

Internship program group picture
  • Plan ahead! Build out your program schedule and consider what your staff may need in advance to implement student activities (e.g., additional capacity, onboarding materials, to-do lists, etc.) and create a contingency plan to address any issues that may arise with recruitment or execution.
  • Recruit parents, caregivers and other caring adults early in the process – and maximize your connections with local partners like The Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Becoming a Man and Boston PIC to diversify your class of students from different backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Think about what hourly requirements you need from your students or what they need from you in terms of internship credits - 40 hour week, 20 hour week, etc. Consider if a shorter week is preferable to better reflect flexible or complex schedules and hybrid environments for students and staff.
  • Schedule networking opportunities for your students to meet others at your organization and learn what they do, like virtual coffees or team meetings, and host daily check-ins to provide structure for their week.

“We play an active role in teaching students about the financial services industry and the jobs that could be available to them in the future with the appropriate education, training, and work experience.”
– Nicholas Choy, State Street Corporation

What are some best practices for engaging my students in a fully remote or hybrid environment?

    Kids with kayaks at dock picture
  • Be flexible and meet students where they are. Young people have navigated zoom fatigue, social isolation and other challenges throughout the pandemic – consider creative opportunities to enhance their learning experience, while also understanding their limitations.
  • Create frequent, fun and engaging virtual activities to help your students meet with one another and staff, and adjust to common home distractions due to a remote environment.
  • Consider more hands-on, experiential learning opportunities to engage with your students and avoid lecture-only learning when creating professional development sessions.
  • If possible, conduct your first day of student onboarding in-person with their direct supervisor or functional team to allow facetime at the beginning of the program - even if your office is still working largely from home.
  • If in a hybrid environment, host at least one in-person “field day” with students to provide them with a hands-on opportunity to see your industry experts in action.


“Interns are placed on cross-functional teams, and are given the opportunity to meet and work closely with other interns, learn about areas of the business different from their own, expose them to senior leadership, and work on a concept that relates to helping Wayfair become more innovative and successful.”
- Molly Delaney, Wayfair