Twelve years on from 9/11, NIRI-NY’s work placement scheme building interest
A work placement scheme set up by NIRI’s New York chapter (NIRI-NY) in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has seen a significant increase in the number of firms involved and student applications received.
The NIRI-NY Logler 9/11 Internship Program offers those who lost a parent in the World Trade Center attacks the chance of a paid internship in IR, PR or corporate communications. The scheme is named after Elizabeth Logler, better known as Beth, the former vice president of IR at eSpeed who died in New York on September 11.
Working with registered charities Tuesday’s Children and the Silver Shield Foundation, NIRI-NY finds companies willing to take on an intern and links them with suitable candidates. One such intern, Tim Quinn, took on a placement in the IR team at global medical supplier Henry Schein, which employs nearly 16,000 workers around the world.
Quinn shares his hometown, Rockville Centre in New York, with Logler, and his mother was friendly with the Loglers. His aunt Megan lost her husband Terrance in the World Trade Center attacks, since when she and her family have received help from Tuesday’s Children and similar charities. She passed on details of the IR program to Quinn, who had volunteered to help in other similar programs.
‘I knew I had to pursue it,’ Quinn says. ‘Rockville Centre was hit particularly hard by the attacks, and I felt like this was a way to honor not only my uncle, but also Beth and all those lost from my town.’
After meeting fellow Tuesday’s Children volunteer Barbara Boschert, Henry Schein’s director of talent acquisition, Quinn was given a position in Henry Schein’s IR department, overseen by Carolynne Borders, vice president of IR.
‘We designed a program that would give Tim exposure to investor relations, treasury and corporate communications,’ says Borders. ‘We’ve been able to offer him an opportunity to work on a variety of projects reaching out to all of these important constituents. As he gets closer to the prospect of entering the corporate world, he will have a unique perspective on finance and communications at a large public company.’
Quinn also spent time in the company’s treasury and communications departments, giving him a larger overview of how Henry Schein operates and how to best inform shareholders.
‘My favorite project so far has been a risk-financing decision platform with the treasury department,’ he says. ‘I was asked to pull data from Thomson Reuters, which was then used by AON to create a cost-benefit analysis for different insurance plans for Henry Schein. For me, it was very exciting to see how the different areas of expertise contribute to providing a vital service for current ‒ as well as potential ‒ investors.’
Quinn is one of 32 students who applied for a placement this year, a figure that is significantly up on previous years and indicative of a record number of companies seeking to hire an intern.
‘We actually missed out on placing a few candidates to other companies that want to give them an internship,’ says Patrick Tracey, executive vice president of programs at NIRI-NY. ‘One was snapped up by the New York Mets baseball team! Every one of the candidates received an internship, either through this program or on his/her own.’
Several of the families affected by the events of September 2001 had young children at the time, Tracey goes on to explain, many of whom have moved on to finish high school or work through college today. ‘Tuesday’s Children also expanded the scope of the program to include the families of all 9/11 first responders, opening the opportunity to a larger pool of candidates,’ he adds. ‘In addition, students can continue to apply throughout their college careers.
Eleanor Powell, president of the organization’s New Yorke chapter, also reiterated the importance of such schemes. ‘NIRI-NY’s entire board is committed to this cause and giving young people, especially those who might be missing the benefit of a parent’s advice, an opportunity to get a head start on their careers,’ she said. ‘It’s the employers we work with that are the real superstars, though: it’s a very patriotic thing to do.’