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BC-Private Industry Council Collaboration a ‘Win-Win’

University administrators praise program that gives high schoolers job, college experience


By Rosanne Pellegrini | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 9, 2013

The summer months are fast approaching, and while area teenagers face another tight job market, some 30 Boston youths are looking forward to employment at Boston College.

For more than three decades, Boston College has collaborated with the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC) to provide local high schoolers with both a glimpse into University life and valuable, real-world job experience.

Through PIC’s Job Collaborative Program, each summer 25-30 students from 14 Boston public high schools are hired to work in a range of campus areas. The initiative links their educational achievement and good attendance with these employment opportunities.

Funded by the President’s Office and administered by the Department of Human Resources, the program — which this year runs July 8 through mid-August — is considered a win-win by BC organizers. In turn, it is lauded by University community members who have supervised student workers.

Director of Government Relations Jeanne Levesque says the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs is a long-time and satisfied PIC participant since the program’s inception.

“We have had a very positive experience with our students. Some go on to attend Boston College or other area colleges — in some cases being the first in their family to obtain a college degree,” she said.  

As a supervisor, she has enjoyed the opportunity to mentor and work with a number of exceptional, motivated students, she added.

“The PIC program is about so much more than summer employment,” said Levesque. “It can be a life-changing experience for a student, providing a pathway to college and the work world, and a fulfilling experience for participating offices, by doing what Boston College does best — helping students to succeed.”

Beyond providing administrative and clerical support, students are exposed to the important work of the University office or department in which they are assigned, and attend educational workshops on such topics as college admission and computer skills. They are required to be punctual, demonstrate strong communication skills and have both a positive attitude and neat appearance.    

Other 2013 PIC participants include AHANA Student Programs, Athletics and Athletics Facilities, Bureau of Conferences, the BC Bookstore, University Advancement, Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Learning to Learn, Lynch School of Education, and the offices of Residential Life and Transportation and Parking.  

“I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in the interview process, training and working directly with the PIC student in our office for the past six years,” said Catherine Jamieson, Bureau of Conferences Office and Events assistant. “They’re given a full overview of the office and are fully trained. Both BOC and the students greatly benefit from this program.

“The students gain valuable work experience,” she continued. “Many come from difficult home situations and working at Boston College for the summer is a dream job for them. It’s our pleasure to host a PIC student each summer and to get to know these promising teenagers.”  

Levesque notes that the program exposes the students to college and familiarizes them with a world they will hopefully soon enter. “I would highly recommend that other campus offices or departments participate and host a student this summer.”

According to organizers, some summer placements are still available. For more information, contact KimDuyen Ngo (ext.2-3336) or Emmanuel Johnson (ext.2-3544).