My Summer as an MLK Scholar with Boston Partners in Education
By Kledion Naksi
“Come to work on time, wearing business casual clothing.”
This is what I was told when I was hired at Boston Partners in Education as an MLK Scholar this summer. So, on the morning of July 9th, my first day, I found myself outside the office at 8:30 AM — even though my shift didn’t start until 10:00 — wearing a dress shirt, dress pants and dress shoes. From the moment I stepped in, all the warm faces and welcomes obliterated my first day anxiety. Everyone in the office created a great environment for me and the other Scholars and made it seem more like a family than an office.
Being able to dress up every weekday gave me a feeling of personal pride as I’d spend every night stealing my brother’s business clothes then looking in the mirror to make sure they looked as if they were mine. The feeling of just sitting down at my own desk, with my own computer, in charge of my own schedule, with my own responsibilities definitely made me see how I’d want to live life in the future. Boston Partners in Education gave me the opportunity to see that future first hand — to live it, even if it was just for a summer.
I never expected that I’d spend an entire summer asking receptionists if we could hang a flyer in their building. The uncertainty of the answer made the flyering very fun. We’d hear answers as simple as “yes,” or were even put on the spot to give our elevator pitch and describe to the person what Boston Partners is and why they should allow us to hang up a flyer. I’d say this experience brought me out of my shell of talking to strangers.
I also never expected to be emailing tons of companies, ranging from local family restaurants to international businesses, asking if they’d want to donate anything for our upcoming back-to-school event. Nothing could explain the thrill of receiving an email back from those companies stating, “Yes, we’d be happy to donate!” The yes’ came in an abundance, letting us thrive in the joy of telling our supervisors, “Guess how much someone just donated?” with a slight smirk on our faces.
I definitely won’t forget my summer working for Boston Partners in Education, a summer that had a great balance of fun and professional development.