TheSquareFoot team recently hosted a Job Shadowing event for the Career Awareness Program (CAP) through the Fresh Air Fund, a year-round academic, leadership development and mentoring program for middle school and high school students from low-income communities in New York City.
The aim of the program is to capture youth at a critical point in their development and encourage them to explore ideas about their future careers.
Past Job Shadowing hosts have included: Google, Madison Square Garden, Seventeen Magazine, Young & Rubicam, Vogue and more.
We had a group of 23 students, ranging in age from 12-15, who visited us in our office in the Flatiron District. We kicked off the event with pizza, soda, and a short presentation about who we are, what we do, and what kinds of roles we have on our team. We broke down our team into three main sectors: marketing, technology, and transactions to teach the students about potential careers they could have based on their interests.
After the presentation, we started the interactive portion of the event.
We developed an activity designed to give students the client experience of what it's like to search for office space.
We broke out into 10 small groups, and each group was given a different type of company (which they could name and brand themselves), desired square footage, and maximum budget. They then used our TourBook tool to sift through available listings, based on the location, architecture, amenities, security, and any other factors they deemed important to their companies.
At the end of the exercise, they decided as a group which space was best for their company, and why.
Just when we figured all this talk of commercial real estate was boring the students, several of them came up to present their findings and explain which space they chose and why. One student even came up with a great commercial idea for TheSquareFoot (which we can't share with you, it's that good)!
It was an AMAZING event, both for us as well as the students! If you’re interested in getting more involved with community volunteer events for your team, the Fresh Air Fund is worth exploring!