Partner spotlight: J.P. Morgan hosts virtual internships for DSY students in ‘Summer of Development’

Published by Lea Patch

When COVID-19 forced businesses to shut down this spring, the All Stars Project began having new conversations with business partners across the country in order to ensure that Development School for Youth (DSY) students would have an opportunity to grow and develop over the summer.

J.P. Morgan, one of the All Stars’ key corporate partners and largest summer internship sponsor, stepped up and paved the way for DSY students to participate in paid, virtual internships at the investment bank and financial services holding company. At first, Anne Sylvester, a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, was skeptical about whether the company could produce a robust paid summer “emerging talent” (internship) program that, pre-pandemic, would have involved thousands of young people from communities across the country and around the world.

Bolstered by “a massive dose of flexibility” and a creative leadership team, J.P. Morgan responded to the challenge by creating a four-week virtual program in which interns spent their mornings learning about the business of J.P. Morgan and the second half working in teams with some of the company’s non-profit partners. “The basic idea was that each team would come up with creative solutions to whatever issues their non-profit clients were facing,” explains Sylvester. “For example, one team came up with some really cool ideas for how their non-profit client could use social media to improve and enhance outreach efforts during COVID.”

“When they made their final presentations, I was astounded and impressed by the work they had done.” She believes that “whatever we lost, we more than gained back” by giving young people the opportunity to work in groups, to interact with clients, to build a presentation, and to present their work both internally and at client meetings.” Sylvester reports there is “resounding” interest from the company in “finding ways to make this something J.P. Morgan does on a more permanent basis.”

Thank you Anne, Meredith Anderson, and the entire J.P. Morgan team for your leadership and creativity. And a special shout out to other leading national and regional partners who also helped pilot paid virtual internships for our DSY students this summer, including EY, Willis Towers Watson, AIG, and Metlife—thank you!