What is work-based learning (wbl)?

MECA is a Career Technical Education school offering students the opportunity to train in the skills and knowledge used in the Advertising Industry. Our goal is to help students become successful 21st century professionals. At MECA, students learn how to become creative problem solvers, business entrepreneurs, and experts with technology. These skills sets are applicable to many careers and are important tools for college achievement.

A key part of our CTE program is Work Based Learning. These are guided experiences where students practice their skills and knowledge in real world situations.  Work Based Learning experiences occur within all CTE classes, as well as after school and during the summer.   Some student experiences are:

  • Individual counseling to help students to choose a career path.
  • Opportunities to work with industry professionals to complete a school project
  • Career exploration scavenger hunts
  • Speed networking with industry professionals
  • “Breakfast with the Boss” networking event
  • Field trips to visit industry offices and studios
  • Special workshops (internship readiness, professional soft skills, industry best practices)
  • Being matched with a mentor
  • Day-long job shadowing
  • Internships (paid and unpaid)
  • Community service projects
  • Industry competitions for high school students
  • Other various special industry events

These experiences provide students with opportunities to begin working on projects at worksites that match their career aspirations.


Internships are extremely challenging and require dedicated effort from a student. Working in a professional office, an internship candidate must be very motivated, able to work independently, and be responsible for their work assignments and behaviors. He/she must have a proven record of accomplishments, such as matching specific skill sets and knowledge, and be able to travel to the worksite independently. To be considered as a qualified candidate, students must strive for excellence in three areas:

1.     School Performance

2.     The Top 10 Employability Skills

3.     Industry Skills and Knowledge


Personal Mindset

1.     Needs minimal supervision to complete tasks.

2.     Maintains focus on tasks despite internal (e.g., emotional) and/or external distractions.

3.     Adapts approach in response to new conditions or others’ actions.

Planning for Success

4.     Manages time to complete tasks on schedule.

Social Awareness

5.     Recognizes the consequences of one’s actions.

6.     Balances own needs with the needs of others.


7.     Helps team members complete tasks, as needed.

8.     Brings energy and enthusiasm to the work.

9.     Takes responsibility for his or her actions and does not blame others.

Problem Solving

10.  Identifies alternative ideas/processes that are more effective than the ones previously used/suggested.


Being able to provide our students with connections to local businesses and professionals is a critical element of our program. We are seeking companies and individuals who would like to help urban teens become successful in the world of work. If your company would like to develop an on-going relationship with our school, we would love to meet with you and explore how we can create a special WBL program or event. If you can only volunteer for a day, consider participating in one of our 1-day events such as Breakfast with the Boss or become a panelist for one of our student presentations. For more information, contact Carol Sun at csun@meca-nyc.org