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10,000 Black Interns: Diversity through internships

Black Interns logo and image of black woman looking into camera

This summer, the new 10,000 Black Interns programme offered work placements to those seeking experience in various sectors. At Kaplan, we were excited to work with the initiative, welcoming several interns looking for work experience in the education industry.

10,000 Black Interns was founded in 2020 by Wol Kolade, Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, Michael Barrington-Hibbert and Jonathan Sorrel in response to the underrepresentation of Black talent in their industries. Initially, they planned to place 100 Black students and graduates in internship positions within Investment Management.

However, their goals became a huge success, thus leading to the new 10,000 Black Interns mission: offering 2,000 paid internships each year for five years, across over 25 sectors. Kaplan was one of over 600 companies that participated in the programme, aiming to help provide opportunities and open doors for young talent.

Intern experiences at Kaplan

We spoke to two interns, Courtney and Mary, who worked in different departments across Kaplan.

Courtney Brown, who is now in her third year studying History at the University of Manchester, worked within the Applications Administration department, and shared her experience:

“I think it helped me to improve a lot of my teamwork and professionalism skills, especially because my team was remote. I was working in a professional space, so when overseeing information and interacting with people online, I now know how to make sure that I’m friendly but also productive.”

Helping Courtney to understand an office environment

Courtney’s internship with Kaplan helped her understand the daily tasks of an office working environment and opened her eyes to the opportunities that await her after university. With a passion for history, she hopes to pursue a career in teaching, allowing her the opportunity to teach history topics that are usually absent in today’s school classes.

Courtney Brown 

 

She continued: “I think that the 10,000 Black Interns is a great programme. It would be better if it was extended to different companies, as education didn’t have as many companies available as other sectors. I do think it would be better if they were more known because it does help.

If it wasn’t for 10,000 Black Interns I don’t know what other route I would’ve gone down. I wouldn’t know how to get in touch with other schemes as a lot of interns that I met had come into the company through family members. So if you don’t know anyone, you struggle to get into an internship.”

Mary discovered new directions to consider

Mary Dontoh, who originally has a background in chemistry, found a placement within the Student and Client Services department here at Kaplan. She grew interested in finding placement with Kaplan after hearing positive feedback and how passionate everyone was about their work.

Mary Donoth 

 

“With the education sector, it's always been targeted as: ‘Do you want to be a teacher?’ Whereas Kaplan shows that there are so many avenues that you could go towards in education, whether it's in HR, management, or even IT or Tech. There's so much that goes on in the background,” Mary discussed.

Particularly highlighting “the community and family” that she found while working at Kaplan, the internship programme helped her to set her standards high for what company she would want to work at in the future. Although she thoroughly enjoyed her work experience, Mary is interested in finding an opportunity which would help her follow a career in science. She agrees with Courtney’s earlier observation that there should be more industries and sectors involved with the initiative.

She continued by speaking about the importance of the 10,000 Black Interns programme: “I think a lot of the time, from a minority perspective, you have to be twice as good as anybody else to get into the field that you're expecting to get into, but the 10,000 Black Interns initiative shows that companies are actively searching. And I think that is the whole purpose.”

Interested in an internship?

At Kaplan, we are happy to take part in this initiative which can help young talent find career opportunities and experience the working world.

The quest to open doors for 10,000 Black students and graduates is still ongoing. If you’re interested in this initiative, and the industries that you can go into, you can find more information via the 10,000 Black Interns website.

Find out more about the 10,000 Black Interns initiative

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