J&J’s Pilot Pathway to Success Program Nurtures Business Leaders of Tomorrow, Interns of Today

 

In 1992, Johnson & Johnson created the Bridge to Employment (BTE) initiative to inspire young people (14 to 18 years of age) from underserved communities to stay in school, excel academically and elevate their career aspirations. And in 2018, the program expanded to include the pilot Pathway to Success program (i.e., Pathways for short), which is currently guiding 53 alumni of the original BTE program through their post-secondary education programs, internship prospects and future career opportunities.

As part of the first pilot Pathways cohort, 11 have already gone on to graduate between 2020 and 2021, with many more now eligible for Johnson & Johnson internships. In fact, Andrew Gibson, a cybersecurity and analytics major from Penn State–Altoona, has already experienced the rewards of a Johnson & Johnson internship firsthand.

“With my first two years of college now behind me,” Gibson shared in his recent blog, “I can now see all the benefits that the Pathway to Success program has given me outside of the classroom, including being chosen for a Johnson & Johnson internship. Preparing for this goal consisted of … developing resumes and other professional portfolio pieces, as well as interview preparation. Being able to have all this support through the past few years has given me opportunities that I never would have thought were attainable until now, including my placement as a technology intern with the Johnson & Johnson Information Security and Risk Management team.”

Investing in a rich source of future talent

During the Pathway to Success program, students are guided through the process of creating LinkedIn profiles, drafting their elevator pitches and participating in professional job interviews—all of which set them up for success when applying for Johnson & Johnson internships. Additionally, these students bring with them drive and perseverance, often in the face of great adversity—traits that will serve them well in the demanding world of work.

“By the time students have completed both BTE and Pathway to Success, they will have been nurtured by Johnson & Johnson for nearly seven years,” said Yezenia Ramos, Senior Manager of Employee Engagement and Global Lead for BTE and Pathway to Success. “That’s why it makes such good business sense to invite these bright minds to consider us for their internships—and their future careers.”

A call to all hiring managers

“For my team, the Pathways program has been a great way to connect with college students who are excited about becoming engineers, giving us access to talent within communities who might not normally consider working for J&J,” said Staff R&D Engineer Sepp (Josef) Gabelberger of Medical Devices. It’s also been really rewarding to see a young person grow in their understanding of what it really means to be an engineer, promoting a career in Medical Devices at J&J and bringing that positive learning experience back to their colleges and communities. And for hiring managers, the Pathways program provides an excellent opportunity to really get to know somebody you may consider hiring after they’ve graduated.”

Senior Manager of Customer Digital Channels within Supply Chain, Gregory Gould, couldn’t agree more. “Pathways is a great way to live the third paragraph of Our Credo and give back to the communities in which we live and work. In this case, we are providing opportunities to young professionals, who may have otherwise been overlooked—guiding them to see their true potential. The Pathways program is a way for us, as J&J, to show we are truly diverse and inclusive—not only for race and ethnicity but also thought. These talents come from all walks of life, and as an organization, we need to embody the communities and cultures that we serve. Whether you see yourself as a manager, mentor or coach, your responsibility is the same: provide support and guidance to those who come after you. And as an organization, there is nothing to lose and everything to gain through this program—the time spent could mean the world to someone who simply needs an opportunity.”

In the students’ own words

Learn more about some of these impressive students and internship prospects—as well as the meaningful impact Pathway to Success has made in their lives—through their recent blogs on the Bridge to Employment website:

Mayra Brown, Temple University, Bioengineering/Cellular Concentration: “As a first-generation college student, I knew that I would need someone to guide me through the college process, and Pathways—as we like to call it—was able to provide just that support for me.”

 

Miracle Moore, The College of New Jersey, World Languages/Linguistics/Spanish Concentration: “Pathway to Success has helped me realize the most viable routes to enter an otherwise broad and confusing career field like speech pathology. It was pretty difficult to envision myself eventually joining a career field that’s not at all represented in my community.”

 

James Sinnott, Widener University, Mechanical Engineering: “Initially, I wanted to join the program to be better prepared for life once I graduated from college, as well as grow personally and professionally. This program has given me many opportunities to learn and develop skills to be used both in college and in the real world.”

 

Rahmon Adeshokan, Shippensburg University, Mechanical Engineering/Military: “Before I joined the program, I struggled with time management, how to conduct myself in an interview, and how to effectively work with others. Through the various seminars and meetings I attended in this program, I overcame my previous struggles. By working on the interview skills and time-management exercises I was taught, I was able to work at two jobs, play a sport, and be an active member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in high school.”

 

Raisa Sabiha, Chestnut Hill College, Biochemistry/Pre-Med: “Before joining the Pathway to Success program, I realized I had little to no knowledge about college and career readiness. Through Pathway to Success, I gained academic enrichment, career awareness, and a toolkit to prepare myself for real-world settings.”

 

Tyeirra Lynch, University of Pennsylvania, Economics/Marketing: “My first experience with Pathway to Success was the summer of 2019. Our cohort participated in the Pre-College Academy. The academy was meant to prepare us for our future regarding college applications and decisions, and it genuinely guided me on the right track in my college career. During this week, I wrote the first draft of the college essay that got me into the University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, NYU, Berkeley, and Harvard. Schools of my dreams!”

To learn more about the Pathway to Success program, please contact Tiffany Nesbey at tnesbey@fhi360.org