For the past three years the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer has been a part of The Pasadena Pathways Program. An organization which offers local high school students an opportunity to work as summer interns at various Pasadena business locations, to help them break into the career of their choice. To get a better perspective about the program, I sat down with this summer’s intern, Emmy Flores, to get a first-hand look at her experience with the company.
Emmy is a Pasadena native, born and raised in the heart of the city. She currently attends Pasadena High School and will be in the graduating class of 2018.
We entered the companies’ conference room and as we sat, the 17-year old’s nervous jitters are endearing rather than awkward. As we talk about her high school, she begins to smile as I get the abbreviation wrong.
“PHS” she corrects me and smiles as she relaxes into her seat. Her professionalism and youthfulness are clear by her attire. She wants to be here, this internship is a step toward her future, which she takes seriously but also approaches with a millennial perspective.
Benjamin Woodford (BW): So the managing partner of this firm, Donald Schweitzer, his ultimate goal when starting out was to have his own practice and he has obviously achieved that. Do you have any long term goals of that nature?
Emmy Flores (EF): I really don’t, I feel like, later on, I’ll change my direction in my work life, I don’t want to commit to a specific goal because I don’t know what I’ll want in the future.
BW: So, just keeping your options open?
EF: Yes, I’m taking it slowly right now, I might change my mind, I don’t want to mess up and have to start again, I want to be sure.
BW: Just taking it step by step?
EF: Yeah, later on I’m sure I’ll have a plan but I’m still working it out.
She’s not the only one to have this mindset, with the oversaturation of the workforce, more and more young people are approaching careers as temporary positions. Having these internships is giving these students an insider’s look to what could ultimately be their future, and Emmy had some constructive criticism for the Pathways program;
EF: “A lot of students in the internship program, they just think it’s a lot of work. They pick any random company to intern at just to put it on their college transcript, they don’t feel like there are internships that would be beneficial to their creativity and growth. I think it would be a lot better if there were more internship opportunities in multiple fields. If my friends had a chance to intern in an area they were interested in, more of them would actually intern for the summer, rather than do nothing to advance their future.”
Luckily for Emmy, she has already discovered that, as she wants to pursue a career in immigration law.
EF: “I want to work with the public, so I can help anybody.”
Emmy will be starting her senior year at Pasadena High School in August, and plans on attending UCLA and eventually Southwestern Law School.
This interview took place on 7/5/17 at the Law Offices of Donald P. Schweitzer