By Carole Rosner
Every gifted person has a unique story. The following story is part of a series of posts depicting the many faces of gifted by highlighting gifted children and adults we have found through IEA programs. IEA’s Apprenticeship Program – mentioned in this story – links gifted high school students from across the country with mentors who advance each participant’s skills through the application of knowledge and exposure to real world experiences.
IEA Apprentice at CNN in 2000
Consultant, McKinsey & Company, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Twelve years ago, Southern California teenager Megan Prichard spent two weeks of her summer break at CNN in Atlanta, Georgia. She wasn’t in Atlanta on vacation. She was taking part in the Institute for Educational Advancement’s Apprenticeship Program. Megan and seven other outstanding high school students were mentored by experienced CNN personnel in all areas of production, research, writing and editing of videos and on-line stories.
“I created a news clip for live air about an issue relevant to America’s youth,” Megan explained. Because of her experience at CNN, she was asked to create a piece about youth perspectives on politics during the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. “Being at the convention and interviewing political figures about how they would address the issues facing young people was a very empowering experience.”
Megan was interested in the Apprenticeship Program because it gave her a chance to have an internship at a well-known organization like CNN and offered her real world work experience at a young age.
“My Apprenticeship experience greatly expanded the way I thought about the world and my ability to shape it. I realized that, even despite my young age, I could make meaningful contributions on a national scale.”
After graduating from Yale with a degree in Economics, Megan joined a boutique consulting firm that advised large endowments, such as The Gates Foundation and World Wildlife Foundation, about how to donate philanthropic money to maximize social returns.
“In my spare time, I was very interested in entrepreneurship. That fall, I won Yale’s Y2K Business Plan Competition and received seed money to start my own company. After opening and closing www.justmovedhere.com, a social networking and city guide website designed to facilitate the moving process, I went to USC Law. While in law school, I worked with the Surfrider Foundation and a transactional law firm that focused on serving start-ups. My final year of USC Law, I wrote a dissertation about corporate governance standards in Brazil. Coincidentally, the professor who supervised the paper’s childhood best friend was a partner at McKinsey São Paulo. I met her while visiting Brazil to do interviews for the dissertation, and she convinced me to join McKinsey.”
Megan currently is an Associate with McKinsey & Company in São Paulo, Brazil. McKinsey is a global management consulting firm that acts as trusted advisers for the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions.
“As an Associate with McKinsey, I help clients in a wide variety of industries to solve their most complex business problems. Amongst other engagements, I have helped a heavy industrial client improve its manufacturing operations, created a growth strategy for a pharmaceutical distributor, and helped a client in the transport sector create a post-merger strategy and integrate its operations.”
Megan sums up her IEA Apprenticeship experience by saying, “It’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself and spend a summer learning from industry leaders.”