What Students Want: Insights from Youth Conversations and Surveys on Work Opportunities 

What Students Want: Insights from Youth Conversations and Surveys on Work Opportunities 

By Elizabeth Isanuk Posted: April 26, 2024

We’ve engaged in conversations, pop-up events, and surveys with Philly’s high school students to capture their perspectives on internship, apprenticeship, and summer fellowship opportunities. Through these interactions, we’ve gained valuable insights into what drives their ambitions and shapes their career aspirations.  

We’re discovering that it’s not just about clocking in hours; it’s about meaningful experiences that offer a blend of learning and contribution. 

One common theme that emerged is their desire for hands-on learning. They want to roll up their sleeves and dive into real-world projects, gaining practical skills that extend beyond the classroom. But it’s not just about doing; it’s about understanding. They crave second-row seats to witness how businesses operate, evolve products, and deliver services, offering businesses a unique opportunity to share their operations and gain new insights. 

Interestingly, these students aren’t just looking to apply their existing knowledge; they’re eager to absorb new industry understandings. They see these opportunities as a chance to bridge the gap between theory and practice, using their prior knowledge in career contexts while cultivating essential skills for the future. 

What’s striking is their openness to explore various industries and business sizes. Whether it’s a startup pioneering in an emerging sector or an established enterprise shaping its legacy, they want a taste of it all. For many, the ultimate goal isn’t just personal advancement; it’s about making a meaningful impact on their communities, particularly within the diverse landscape of Philadelphia. 

Our research underscores the importance of businesses engaging with youth to offer such opportunities. By partnering with us, organizations can nurture the next generation of talent and gain fresh perspectives and innovative ideas. It’s a win-win scenario that fosters both individual growth and community development. 

We invite businesses keen on promoting their career-ready workforce development and recruitment programs to Philadelphia’s youth to contact us. Let’s collaborate to create a future where aspirations meet opportunities, empowering our city’s youth to thrive in the workforce and beyond.

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