At an August reception at S&P Global’s worldwide headquarters in New York City marking the successful conclusion of 2016 Summer Intern program, S&P Global recognised the winners of its annual Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Scholarships. These four award winning interns demonstrated outstanding academic and civic achievements and diversity and inclusion thought leadership.
Rose Lanard, S&P Global Chief Diversity Officer said that the overall quality of all scholarship submissions was exceptional. “The review committee was wowed by this next generation of diversity and inclusion champions,” she said. “The selection process was remarkably difficult.”
Through three short essays and one long essay, interns showcased how their views of diversity and inclusion intersect with their volunteer work, their personal role models, and the D&I challenges faced by society, government and business. From among 31 submissions globally, a team from Talent Acquisition, D&I and business leaders selected four scholarship recipients:
Keldwin Taveras, Ratings, New York | Meizhen Liu, Platts, Singapore | Blake Seymour, Ratings, Chicago | Samantha Wong, Ratings, New York
Highlights of winners’ submissions
Samantha, a Brown University student in her senior year, and the first in her family to attend college, has extensive volunteer experience with Stand Up, an anti-domestic violence advocacy group, and has received academic achievement recognition from Inroads. Her essay on a personal role model who has shaped her thinking about D&I was deeply compelling. She wrote about her cousin who has a hearing disability, and how disabled teenagers, who already “struggle to fit in,” face challenges few can understand. Her experiences powerfully shaped her thinking about inclusion, access to opportunities and what corporations need to do to truly be inclusive: “it’s easier to hire people without disabilities. But the easy thing to do is not the same as the right thing to do.”
Blake, a University of Chicago Booth School of Business, second year student, Big Brothers, Big Sisters volunteer and Merit Scholarship recipient, wrote that, “Diversity and inclusion has been at the forefront of my life and consciousness for as long as I can remember.” Growing up in Memphis in a “relatively segregated city in the middle of the Bible Belt, I was always different and unique.” His personal experiences led him to write: “As the only African-American in most every circumstance, I was constantly thrown into unique situations.” While “I was fortunate to have my mom and other mentors in my life, there are many smart, diverse, hard-working people who do not have the same support.” He said, “it’s incumbent upon me to give back at every step of my professional and social path.”
Meizhen, a National University of Singapore student who’s in her senior year, wrote that receiving this scholarship “would be a heartening tribute to the adversities that have strengthened me, and would be an uplifting reminder that, despite being pushed to the periphery of society, I am able to make my voice heard, gain recognition and lead an impactful life.” She envisions that D&I will “serve as a lighthouse in my career, a symbol of organizational excellence and performance.” She aims to “improve the status quo through innovative ideas, and level the playing field by advocating for the interests and rights of marginalized groups…this defines my professional aspirations.”
Keldwin, a senior Skidmore College student, Peer Mentor and Science and Mathematics Scholarship recipient, is a “first generation college student of humble beginnings.” One of his career aspirations is to “start a non-profit to match high-performing, first generation students with mentors throughout middle and high schools to help ambitious students succeed.” Noticing the lack of Latinos and Blacks in STEM and finance, he says he “wakes up every day motivated to encourage more Latinos and Blacks to join such exciting industries.” In his essay, he tackled the challenge of D&I at universities and colleges— noting the “struggle to create and foster diverse and inclusive campuses. This can’t be achieved simply by greater numbers. By creating spaces on campuses that engage students and faculty, diversity becomes a multidisciplinary and multicultural approach to learning.”
During the reception, Terina Matthews, Senior Director, S&P Global Campus Recruiting welcomed the students and their managers with words of appreciation for all the interns’ many valued contributions. She asked them “to return to their campuses as brand ambassadors for S&P Global, sharing many stories of their positive experiences here.”
The positive response from the interns and their willingness to speak about their experience at S&P Global helps to spread the word about the company being an employer of choice.
Discover more about S&P Global and their career opportunities here.