Each summer, Comcast is fortunate enough to host interns from the Emma L. Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media. This is no ordinary intern program. It requires participants – beginning right after their high school graduation – to spend four consecutive summers working at Comcast in a variety of departments.
The benefits are twofold: students learn the skills needed to succeed in the media and technology industry, and we get to train and mentor the next generation of media professionals. We also get to hire them. As a pipeline for diverse talent, the Emma Bowen program in 2013 led to full-time employment at Comcast and NBCUniversal for 42 former interns.
This summer, 17-year-old Kayode Oduwaiye was one of 130 students interning at Comcast and NBCUniversal. Even before his first day, Kayode had a connection to Comcast. He was one of more than 1,800 students who received Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarships during the 2012-13 school year. As Kayode prepares for his freshman year at Pennsylvania State University, we asked him to look back on his first summer with Comcast.
By Kayode Oduwaiye
When I found out I would spend my next four summers at Comcast, I didn’t know what to expect. My sister had heard about the Emma L. Bowen Foundation during her own internship at Comcast and she encouraged me to apply. My dream is to open my own entertainment law firm, and she knew an internship in the media industry would give me the skills I needed to make my dream a reality. When I was accepted to the program and assigned to Comcast, I knew it would be hard work. But I looked forward to working with different departments, networking with executives, and absorbing the company’s culture.
A big part of the culture at Comcast is giving back to the community, which I saw firsthand during my summer with the Community Investment Department. I learned a lot about the programs and partnerships Comcast supports, including one I had a personal connection to.
During my senior year at West Philadelphia’s School of the Future, I received a Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship for $1,000. My teachers and guidance counselors had recommended me for the award, which recognizes students for their academic achievements, leadership skills, and community service. During my internship, one of my assignments was processing fellow scholarship winners’ information. With more than 1,800 scholarships, it was a project that occupied most of my summer.
My Leaders and Achievers Scholarship isn’t the only way Comcast is helping me pay for college. As part of my internship through the Emma Bowen Foundation, Comcast provides matching funds for tuition. For every dollar I earn, Comcast puts one more towards my education. In addition to on-the-job career training and mentorship, Comcast is also providing me with the financial support I need to focus on my education.
As I prepare for my freshman year at college, I know I have the skills I need to succeed. My first summer at Comcast taught me time management, organization, and team work. But the most important lesson I learned was the importance of giving back. I spent most days working on administrative assignments, like filing, typing, and answering phones, which is why my favorite assignment was when I got to see change happen up close during a Comcast Cares Day project with my fellow interns. Every April, Comcast employees come together to paint, plant and make change happen in communities across the country. Every summer, Comcast interns keep the company tradition alive with their own day of service. This year, I led a group of more than 30 interns to weed, rake, and landscape the grounds of Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King High School. Working alongside the school’s principal and teachers, they told me how much it meant to them that Comcast cared about their community. And I knew exactly how they felt.
I’m not sure which departments I’ll work with over the next three years of my internship, but I’ll never forget how it felt to make a difference.
The photos featured in this blog were taken by Kayode Oduwaiye’s fellow Emma Bowen intern, Alexandria Wiggins, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania who will return to Comcast in the summer of 2014.