In fall 2022, Penn Community Bank participated in Pennridge High School’s Career Pathways Program, a semester-long initiative that invited local industry professionals to present and immerse students into their world. Several departments from our organization participated in the “Ram Days,” including Human Resources and Marketing, sharing their career journeys and providing an overview of their department’s functions.
Organized by HR Operations Manager Melissa Perrine, she was thrilled with the feedback from students, teachers, and our employees about how productive and eye-opening these informational career readiness sessions were. It was then that she knew this couldn’t be a one-time session, and wanted to expand the opportunity to area high school students who have a particular interest in banking.
One year later, we are proud to put our highly anticipated High School Externship Program into action. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between traditional classroom learning and real-world professional experience in a way that is convenient for and relevant to high school-age students.
“Job shadowing has always been a key learning component for me. College is a big investment – it’s important to test the waters of what a career really is before jumping in,” says Melissa.
Department leaders presenting at our externship day understand just what these students are looking to get out experience and carefully crafted their presentations to cover over-arching topics like career exploration, skill development, networking, and college and career readiness. Students will have a firsthand look at the daily operations of the Bank and how each department collaborates to ensure the success of our team members and customers.
Further, students will build connections with industry professionals, ranging from our interns to the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), as well as peers with similar interests from area high schools. Our externship program is designed to set participating students apart in a highly competitive job market and alleviate the stress of having minimal industry exposure prior to starting a course of study.
What is an externship?
An externship offers many of the same benefits of an internship, just in a shorter time period and less formal manner. Rather than completing job tasks and projects, externs shadow professionals during a normal work day to learn more about the field. Think of an externship as an educational opportunity you may not receive in the classroom.
Whether in high school or college, an externship exposes students to career possibilities and helps with the decision-making of choosing a major or a career path. Students are able to gain early-on practical experience in a specific field that can inform future decision making on internships. Externships offer a broader view of the industry and emphasize learning and exposure over completing tasks.
What departments will be involved in the externship?
Designed to capture the inter-departmental collaboration of a typical work day, the externship will run from 9am – 5pm and include a lunch break with the Bank’s ELT. The following departments will participate in sharing engaging presentations with students, covering topics from department functions to individual career journeys:
- Retail/Deposit Operations,
- Human Resources (resume workshop),
- Information Technology/Security,
- Training and Development, and an
- Intern panel (Q&A)
What local high schools are participating in Penn Community Bank’s externship program?
Currently, five local high schools are invited to participate in our first externship day at our Administrative Offices in Perkasie, PA: Souderton, Pennridge, North Penn, Palisades, and Quakertown. We look forward to expanding the program to local high schools and colleges throughout the communities we serve.
Penn Community Bank is thrilled to launch this new program as the latest effort of our commitment to promoting career readiness and professional development, shaping the future of community banking, and creating opportunity in local communities. We look forward to welcoming the next generation of banking professionals!
For more information on internships and career opportunities at Penn Community Bank, please visit www.PennCommunityBank.com.