Teens from WriteBoston’s Teens in Print Summer Journalism Institute pose with the staff of the Boston Business Journal near their office in Downtown Crossing. BBJ was one of three job shadow sites for youth in the summer program.

BOSTON, August 16, 2017—Thirty students from WriteBoston’s Summer Journalism Institute participated in a job shadow day on Monday to learn about the different ways their writing and reporting skills could translate to the wider workplace.

The teens, who have spent the past six weeks learning the basics of journalism, explored writing-based careers at three local agencies: digital and social PR firm The Castle Group, commercial real estate company JLL, and the Boston Business Journal.

“This was my first time in that kind of atmosphere, going into an office,” Bryan Lopez, a Margarita Muniz Academy student says. “I always thought offices would be rushing around, papers flying everywhere–but it was so laid back. It really felt like a community.”

Lopez job shadowed at JLL, where students learned how their journalism skills could translate to a corporate environment. After learning the basics of commercial real estate, they had the opportunity to hear from members of the company’s brand journalism and marketing teams. Their advice helped guide the students through a marketing exercise, in which each student had to market a commercial space to a business of their choosing.

“They knew how to deliver the information so it would be easy for us to understand,” Rosa Sanchez, a John D. O’Bryant student, notes.

Jim Tierney, Market Director of JLL New England and WriteBoston Board Chair, reflected, “Hosting eight students in our office was mutually energizing and inspiring.  We enjoyed the opportunity to expose them to a different work environment and showcase how we employ journalism skills in our business. Their thoughtful questions and engaged participation showed what a positive impact the Summer Journalism Institute is having on these young people.”

Students who visited the Boston Business Journal learned the ins-and-outs of the weekly business publication, from how they define newsworthiness to how they manage their social media channels. After a brief tour of the publication’s office, the students had the opportunity to pair up with some of the staff reporters and editors to speak more in-depth about their experiences.

“I really liked their workplace dynamic,” says Masha Leyfer, a student from Boston Latin School. “I thought it was really cool how the team was so small.”

Students who attended the session at the Castle Group explored the worlds of public relations, event management, and digital marketing through question-and-answer sessions and hands-on activities. After speaking one-on-one with members of the organization’s staff, the students drafted brief profiles based on their conversations and learned to convert their pieces to press releases and social media content.

“I can imagine myself working there,” says Anton Montgomery, a TechBoston Academy student.

This week marks the students’ sixth and final week at WriteBoston’s Summer Journalism Institute, a summer program based out of Northeastern University’s School of Journalism. Over the course of the program, participants produce at least two original articles for Boston’s citywide youth newspaper, Teens in Print. Through an in-kind partnership, The Boston Globe prints and distributes 20,000 copies of the newspaper to high schools, libraries, and community centers across the city.

The students who participated in the Summer Journalism Institute represent 21 high schools, including the Boston public schools, area charter and parochial schools, and the METCO program.  Every student is a City of Boston resident. They hail from the neighborhoods of East Boston, South Boston, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Dorchester, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Mattapan.

Free and open to any youth resident of Boston, the Teens in Print Summer Journalism Institute is funded by the Summer Fund, People’s United Bank, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, the Boston Bruins Foundation, Blue Hills Bank, and private donors. Teens in Print is proud to partner with the Boston Globe, Northeastern University’s School of Journalism, the SuccessLink summer jobs program, Boston Cares, and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.