At an internship fair held at the Yale University Art Gallery last week, 69 New Haven Promise Scholars circulated a room full of Yale Hiring Managers to hear presentations about summer jobs at Yale.
Founded in 2011 as a university scholarship for qualified New Haven Public School students, New Haven Promise is now collaborating with the New Haven Hiring Initiative to give scholars a chance to obtain paid internships at Yale over the summer. Last week’s fair introduced scholars to nine hiring managers from different departments at Yale and encouraged students to consider working in New Haven after graduation. This collaboration aligns with the Yale Hiring Initiative’s goal of fostering economic development in New Haven, since it will draw intellectual talent back to the city, said New Haven Hiring Initiatives Director Diane Turner.
“These are students who are doing an exceptional job in terms of their academics and who are contributing to community service,” Turner said of the Promise scholars. “These are students who we want to entice to come back after completing their college education, and we have an opportune time over the summer to provide them with career experience.”
Last summer, the Hiring Initiative offered summer internships to New Haven high school students. Turner said because that program was successful, she wants to expand it to college students, particularly Promise Scholars, starting this summer.
Since last fall, Turner has been working with New Haven Promise Director Patricia Melton as well as Yale Hiring Managers to develop the program.
Students who attended the internship fair last week have already submitted their resumes to Yale, and Yale Hiring Managers are currently sorting through them to determine which department students may best fit. The exact number of internships that will be offered this summer has not yet been finalized, but Turner said she is optimistic that hiring managers will each offer several internships.
Among the Yale departments attending the fair were the Yale Police, the Peabody Museum, the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale School of Music. During the fair, the scholars — who represented 14 in-state colleges and 11 different New Haven public schools — rotated around the room to talk to each hiring manager about potential career options. Melton said that conversing with hiring managers and securing summer internships could lead to permanent jobs for the scholars after graduation.
“Part of our mission is to make sure our scholars come back to New Haven, so the partnership will help us fulfill that mission,” Melton said.
Among the attendees were two Yale students — Lily Engbith ’17 and Wen Jiang ’16, who are both New Haven Promise scholars.
Engbith, who graduated from Wilbur Cross High School last year, said that while the event was a good opportunity for students to discuss career options with professionals, she thought the fair would be advertising specific summer internships, rather than potential ones.
“It was good to gather the Promise scholars back together, but a lot of the managers weren’t sure of concrete positions that they would be offering just because the program is so new,” Engbith said. “Still, it’s really daunting to start looking for internships as a high school student so it’s nice to have someone guiding you along.”
To be eligible for a New Haven Promise scholarship, students must graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed  hours of community service.