The opportunity of a lifetime
How senior internships can change your life
November 15, 2018
Hamilton-Wenham High School—Imagine going back to your old elementary school and shadowing your favorite teacher. Imagine going to the local hospital and racing after a doctor as she visits all her patients. Imagine hearing the alarm go off and seeing fire fighters race to get dressed and on their trucks. Imagine jetting into the courtroom as you carry documents for the lawyer mentoring you. Imagine waking up and getting ready, but instead of going to school, you head off to your job. Imagine knowing the job you want or do not want before you even graduate high school. A senior internship does all of this and more.
A senior internship lets you do a job you are interested in and learn all the ins and out before you even go to college. We have all experienced learning in a classroom setting, but how many of us have had the opportunity to learn through experience? Our school offers us a way to learn in a classroom, but also it encourages students to learn through doing. Students can do a full-time fourth quarter internship and a part time second semester internship.
Seniors can choose an opportunity based on their interests. There are three pathways that they can take. These pathways are a career exploration, community building, or academic exploration internship. Our school wants to make sure that everyone can find something that she is interested in within this program.
A senior internship allows students to start their dream jobs earlier, or give back to the community that they have spent many years in, or further explore an academic subject that has caught their interest. Career exploration is when a student explores a career path that he is interested in. During community building, a student will develop and execute a community service project in Hamilton or Wenham. In academic exploration, a student will further explore and study an academic subject of his or her choice.
Participants have the ability to choose from any job when selecting their place of internship. In the past, seniors have worked at physical therapy offices, doggy day care companies, the Hamilton town hall, the Hamilton police station, the Hamilton and Wenham fire stations, the Wenham Tea House, Brooksby Village, and local schools. However, you are not limited to these choices. If you have a career path in mind, you just need to get your idea approved by Ms. Maney, Mrs. Burnett and Mr. Tracy. For example a past student was approved to shadow a realtor. This internship is about you, and what you want, so if the school can, it will help create an internship that goes along with your interests.
During an interview Ms. Maney said
This experience was made to allow students to apply the skills that they have learned in the classroom to their internship sites.”
Senior Jenna Conley is interested in seizing this opportunity. She wants to be a pastry chef, and is looking to intern at a local bakery in Salem. Jenna thinks working in a restaurant or bakery during her senior year would be a great opportunity to help her in college and her career. When Jenna was asked if other students should look into senior internships, she said,
I think it is a really cool opportunity and it’s a good way to end your senior year, by getting involved in your community.”
Ms. Maney with the help of Mrs. Burnett has been running the senior internship program ever since the last teacher stepped down. She has seen many students come and go, and watched them explore many new opportunities. When asked what her favorite internship idea was, she said that she loved every senior’s project, since each was unique to the person. However, if she had to choose a recent one, it would be a student who worked with various doctors, and saw different procedures done firsthand.
There are actually only a few requirements for students interested in this experience. The first requirement is that the senior must have a seventy percent or higher grade in every class for semester one as well as quarter three. A student cannot have an out-of-school suspension. All graduation requirements must be met before the application is submitted including fulfilling community service hours. Furthermore, a parent or guardian’s approval is necessary. Another requirement is that the internship approval form is completed and handed on or before the end of quarter two. Finally, school attendance must meet the standards that are defined in the HWRHS Student Handbook.
A senior internship is an alternative educational experience. This means participants still get a pass or fail grade that will appear on their transcript. This grade depends on whether you have completed the necessary assignments throughout the internship project, submitted the weekly timesheet with a signature each Monday, wrote the senior internship reflection, and presented at the internship exhibition fair. For full time fourth quarter internship opportunities, students that are taking AP courses will remain in those classes, however the grades for their other classes will remain the same as their quarter three grades.
Though a classroom is a great setting for some types of learning, there are some things that have to be learned through experience. An internship allows students to gain new knowledge that they can use in college and at their jobs. In addition to standing out on a college application, a senior internship, according to Ms. Maney,
provides students with a real life experience outside the classroom.”