Utah students take full advantage of STEM internships to plan a career path

Aug 3, 2023, 2:11 PM

SALT LAKE CITY — Each year high school students across the country look to take the next steps in their lives – figuring out what career path to take.

Internships have been a gateway into a number of fields for years now.
Since 2004, Bank of America has helped thousands of teens figure out their professional plans.

For the past four years, Utah teens are getting an opportunity to help out local non-profits.When I moved here it was kind of a little bit of a culture shock for me, Sumyah Mcmillan said.

She is a Cedar Valley High School student and one of 300 teens across the country who earned an internship spot through Bank of America.It was really my mom. She told me to go and she said that I should really be looking for those little opportunities, those things that seem like theyre small but they could have a big impact,” McMillan said.

She hopes her time interning with the Utah Stem Action Center will help open the door for others. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Utah STEM Action Center has committed to helping parents become more aware of the importance of teaching early math skills to their young children.

“I realized there wasn’t really any representation for people of color in my school, in my community, in stem in general so I just thought that maybe I could be a leader for that,” she added.
McMillan has already been accepted to a few schools and said her internship has made her realize she enjoys working with kids.“They really feel welcome in the hub and I really like that and I want to make it so that a lot of other kids can feel welcome,” she said. “I think that’s what drives children to want to do STEM.”

Her fellow intern, Jayashabari Shankar has had a similar experience.“Instead of just learning science I think it’s been a great experience, I never realized how much I enjoyed science education until I joined this program,” Shankar said.

Mori Paulsen is the president of Bank of America Utah. He said over the years he’s seen local interns taking full advantage of the program.We’re really hoping this program provides a launching pad for these student leaders,” Paulsen said. “I’m hoping that they’re making the most of the experience, getting a lot personally out of what they’re contributing to it and developing again that lifelong love of giving back into the community. 

“I just think this is a really great program and everyone should apply to it next year,” Shankar said.
McMillan and Shankar traveled to Washington D.C. this summer along with 300 other interns from all around the country.

You can see which program might fit your career path and apply for an internship by clicking here.

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Utah students take full advantage of STEM internships to plan a career path