Giving under resourced college juniors a chance to get ahead

May 30, 2022 Chelsey Sleator
Learn about Intern Pro, a program that provides access to an 8-week leadership and career development program for underrepresented students.

Diversity and Inclusion is a lived value at Schwab, so when Neha Shah, a leader in the Community Development Group, noticed there was an opportunity to create more diversity in the Schwab Intern Academy, she asked herself, “What is the barrier?” and, “What can we do to help more students overcome it?” 

And thus, Intern Pro was born. 

Intern Pro is an eight-week leadership and career development program targeting under resourced and rising college juniors. The program partners with the Diversity and Inclusion and Talent Acquisition teams to provide promising, underrepresented students of color with the skills, mindsets, experiences, and networks necessary to apply and succeed in Schwab’s Intern Academy. 

To date, 48 students have benefitted from this program, with six being offered intern positions and one graduate who went through Intern Pro, the Intern Academy, and on to a fulltime position at Schwab.  

One Intern Pro graduate participated in an interview to share her personal experience and journey to a new career at Schwab.

From student to intern to full-time employee: Meet Sophia

Sophia Bayatmakoo is in the Finance Specialist Development program. Her career at Schwab began with the Intern Pro program which gave her the skills she needed to enter the Intern Academy and to ultimately find a full-time role.

What made you interested in Schwab?

I learned about Schwab through The Street Smarts, a non-profit that helps students navigate careers in finance. It was there that I heard about the Intern Pro program which started me on my path to Schwab.

What was your experience with Intern Pro like?

It was amazing! I had a great mentor and a wonderful cohort, both of which helped so much in preparing me for the Intern Academy interview process. I learned how to network, create cover letters, improve my resume, and received great feedback and advice for interviewing. Intern Pro gave me the skills and the confidence I needed to apply and get offered a position in the Intern Academy.

And how was your intern experience?

During my internship I was placed in Central Finance where I learned about the impacts of macroeconomic factors on Schwab’s balance sheet. Through the Intern Academy I got great experience and the tools I needed to start a career at Schwab.

I see you’ve been at Schwab for over a year now. What do you do?

I am currently in the Finance Specialist Development Program, an entry-level rotational program that lasts two years. I am in my first year/rotation in Enterprise Finance doing forecasting and analyses for retail branches.

What’s next?

For now, my goal is to complete the rotational program, and to continue to learn and to improve processes. I also plan to continue to search for what role fits best for me after the program.