Executive Forum: Finding & Engaging Diverse Interns and Early Career Professionals in a Zoom World

On November 13th, PowerToFly was thrilled to host an interactive roundtable discussion with HR, DEI, tech and corporate leaders from a mix of established enterprise companies and fast-growing startups on how to attract and engage interns and early career talent in a remote landscape. We were joined by featured speakers from Handshake, BYP Network and the Washington Internship Institute to explore best practices, industry trends and common misconceptions about the early talent community. Complete this brief registration form to access the comprehensive report of the Executive Forum including polling results and actionable next steps.


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A Look at the Executive Forum

Just like much of what we’ve come to learn in 2020, age-old practices of developing your internship and early career pipeline must grow and evolve during the COVID-era. After all, campus recruiting isn’t necessarily possible when there is no campus to speak of.

As part of this Executive Forum, attendees dove deeper into ways to attract, and perhaps more importantly, engage interns and early career talent such as how to instill the mission of your company while remotely and fostering cross generational connections.

Our insightful featured speakers included

Here’s a bit more about Handshake in their own words: Since our 2013 founding in Michigan, our network of university and employer partners—and the impact for students— has grown exponentially. Within a few years, Handshake has become the leading early career community in the US. Our platform features over 7M+ students and 1,000+ colleges and universities.

Head of Corporate Marketing, Handshake

Here’s a bit more about BYP Network in their own words: We empower black professionals around the world to connect with each other and global corporations. After the 2016 Black Lives Matter protests, BYP Network was founded to harness the power of the black community. With a network of 50,000 members and a focus on working with existing black networks and businesses, we are here to change the black narrative. We do so by matching the best career opportunities to black professionals, improving black role model visibility and working with corporations to reduce bias in their hiring process.

Co-Founder, BYP Network

Here’s a bit more about Washington Internship Institute in their own words: The mission of the Washington Internship Institute is to foster students' intellectual, personal, and professional development through individually tailored, quality internships and challenging academic coursework that take full advantage of the opportunities available in the nation's capital and reflect the best practices of experiential learning and liberal education.

President, Washington Internship Institute

Topics Covered Include

  • The do’s and don’ts of creating a diverse and inclusive internship program
  • Working with HBCUs and bootcamps
  • Staying competitive in a broadening market
  • Onboarding interns virtually
  • Building community at work
  • College degrees vs. certifications
  • Maintaining an ongoing pipeline of future applications
  • And much more!

Did you know that...


of attendees have internship programs that last three months or less and only 7% of attendees have programs lasting longer than six months


of attendees offer mentorship opportunities to their interns


of attendees had more or the same amount of applications for internships and early career roles since the start of the pandemic

In 2019, Black professionals in the UK had to apply to 80% more jobs [than white professionals] to get an offer

Recommended resources for finding new talent include Springboard, which targets people with a bachelor’s degree looking to switch careers, and Per Scholas, which facilitates no-cost technical training for people of color, women, and mid-career professionals looking to switch industries

Download the Report