BTE Student Stories


Each spring and fall, Pathway to Success participants come together for an online forum providing customized professional development and learning opportunities. This spring, FHI 360 partnered with Chase to implement financial literacy forums with our older Pathways cohorts, while participants in our youngest cohort used online courses from GoSkills to develop and refine their Microsoft Excel skills as they prepare for summer internships.

The New Brunswick Pathways participants have spent the last few months preparing, planning, and applying for full-time internships this summer. For most of these participants, this will be their very first professional internship, and will help pave the way towards a successful career through in-depth, hands-on learning experiences at Johnson & Johnson. To successfully transition into their new roles and ensure familiarity with common tools used in a professional setting, FHI 360 shared GoSkills’ “Excel in an Hour” curriculum with the cohort. Participants learned common formulas, functions, formatting, and analysis features needed to increase their proficiency with Excel. Each lesson provided real-world scenarios, which allowed attendees to apply what they learned and practice using the program. “While I knew some elements of Excel before today,” shared one Pathways participant, “I learned a lot of new features in Excel and the shortcuts were especially helpful. I’m definitely feeling more confident about using Excel during my internship.” Throughout the remainder of their Pathways programming, participants will have a variety of learning opportunities to build their skills and competencies.

As New Brunswick participants were enhancing their Microsoft skills, Pathways participants from Norristown, PA; Bound Brook, NJ; and Trenton, NJ, sites were diving into financial planning. As rising seniors in college, all of whom will be participating in paid internships this summer, participants were eager to explore how to develop financial goals. In April, JP Morgan Chase & Co’s Community Development Manager, Seyi Ola, joined Pathways participants for their spring online forum. This session focused on budgeting and establishing and maintaining credit. Students also learned about different investment options, the differences between the banking and marketing sides of savings, and the 50/30/20 rule and how to apply it to their individual incomes for their needs, wants, and savings. To close the session, participants learned about the meaning and impact of a credit score. Participants received resources and tools for managing finances and credit and advancing their financial literacy.

As Phoenixville, PA, Pathways participants prepared for graduations in May, they especially felt the importance of learning about retirement planning, investment options, and how to make financially smart goals. Seyi Ola joined the Pathways family for another session, this time exploring similarities and differences between 401(k)s, 403(b)s, traditional IRAs, and Roth IRAs. Participants were also provided with recommendations towards life beyond retirement, such as the importance of creating a will and identifying beneficiaries and a power of attorney.

With the support of FHI 360, Johnson & Johnson, and our community partners, Pathways participants had a variety of enriching spring programming to strengthen their professional development, build their confidence, invest in their futures, and most importantly, invest in themselves. We look forward to a successful summer together!