Profile: HW Works


Photo by Fab Fernandez

A student meets with Director of HW Works Kwaisi France to discuss opportunities.

Everett Lakey

HW Works, led By Kwaisi France, is a program that provides students at the school with internship and other career service opportunities.

France said that the main purpose of the program is to help students find internships, externships, gap years, independent studies, volunteering and guided studies.

“We’re the resource that the school offers to facilitate those things,” said France. “If you’re interested in any of those things, you don’t have to approach them alone, [Works] is the resource to help guide you down that path towards hopefully getting an experience that you want professional career wise.”

Originally, Works was started as part of the Kutler Center to help Harvard Westlake students and parents find summer programs. However, it has since expanded to help students find job and internship opportunities even once they leave the school by fostering connections between alumni as well as between alumni and students.

“While [the school] does a great job of preparing you for college, [it can also] be that support system for you when it comes to jobs that you want,  France said. “When it comes to careers and professional development, it’s not just getting you into college, Harvard Westlake is with you for life. You can always look to the school to facilitate those relationships, to make things easier for you professionally.”

Works also focuses on connecting students to alumni and parents who can help them obtain connections and opportunities in industries that they are interested in.

“[Works] provides career guidance, mentoring, relationship management with alums, parents and friends of Harvard Westlake to not only get you the job but also give you an idea of what you’re interested in to help you get there” France said. “Once you express an interest in a particular industry, career, job, or even a particular location or college, we match you with alumni and parents of HW who can help you get there. We facilitate a dialogue and start a relationship and a conversation that will hopefully be fruitful.”

Students who were able to find internship opportunities throughout the program highly recommended Works because of how easily it allowed them to find opportunities. For example, Eleanor Koo ’24 said her experience with Works was very helpful in putting her in touch with alums and allowing her to find internship opportunities that aligned with her interests.

“I would highly recommend that other students use HW Works because it makes it simple to find great opportunities,” Koo said. “Mr. France has created a huge database and network that makes it easy to find quality programs curated to your specific interests.”

Students also found that the opportunities they found through Works provided them with a truly unforgettable experience. In particular, Henry Pokress ’23 was able to find an internship at a plastic surgery center this summer that turned out to be a truly amazing experience.

“My internship was definitely one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had,” Pokress said. “Whether it be aiding in patient care during injectable treatments, observing consultations, or learning how to draw and mix botox, I always had something to do. The staff at the surgery center was wonderful, and they made an effort to educate me throughout the operation process. To culminate my experience this summer, I helped coauthor three medical research papers.”

To help students learn more about different jobs and industries, Works hosts career fairs about once a month in Feldman-Horn Gallery, each focusing on a specific industry or multiple industries. Alumni in industries such as tech, arts and entertainment, law, finance, health science and more come to speak to students about their jobs and experiences.

“We have hundreds of alumni who are itching to come back and give you guys the guidance that you want,” France said. “Works wants you to think that you can do anything. Whatever you want to do, there’s a robust network behind you that can tell you what you want to be thinking about.”