Elijah Conniff ’17
Elijah Conniff ’17 enrolled at Milton Hershey School when he was 9 years old as a fourth-grade student. He brought with him his passion to make a difference. Since graduating in 2017, Elijah has been attending the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2018, he decided to come back to the sweetest place on earth to complete a summer internship with the Hershey Company’s Corporate Strategy Department.
Throughout his internship, Elijah worked on high-level projects while using creative thinking and problem-solving to assist the Corporate Strategy team in constructing a three-to-five-year plan to ensure the company’s growth and prosperity. It’s an internship that helped him see full circle all that goes into the production of Hershey products and how the company is changing Milton Hershey School students’ lives.
“Other companies do social impact projects on the side, but at The Hershey Company just by trying to make the company profitable, they’re saving lives,” he said.
Elijah credits the MHS Law, Public Safety, and Security career pathway through the school’s Career and Technical Education program for teaching him the soft skills and work ethic he needs to succeed not just in his internship but also throughout college. His internship allowed him to apply his education as he worked with data and statistics to help contribute to The Hershey Company, and Elijah discovered a greater understanding of what he wants to pursue after graduating from college.
Elijah is also grateful for the network he formed at MHS — it was through those connections that he was able to find a place at The Hershey Company as well as support throughout college.
“As a first-generation college student and a low-income student, you sometimes feel like you don’t have people in your corner,” he said. “Because of Milton Hershey School I know there are always people who are in my corner and rooting for me, which is one of the things I’ll always be grateful for from the school.”
Having been an influential and inspiring leader during his time at MHS, Elijah continues to mentor students who reach out to him for advice and questions. He maintains close relationships with mentors, houseparents, staff, and teachers who have always been just a phone call away.
“Hopefully after I’ve been successful and had a career, I do plan to return to Hershey and Milton Hershey School in some capacity. The school saved my life and I want to do something to contribute to the mission of the school,” Elijah said.