By Dani Cronin
Second semester is in full swing, which means that seniors are searching for internships. Ranging from assisting teachers at Wampus or Coman Hill to working in stores, these unique opportunities act as a great way for seniors to gain real-life experience before truly venturing out into the world! The process begins in the fall when students are assigned teacher advisors who help to guide their selection. The process then picks up again in early March, when the seniors must submit resumes and decide where they will work. Internships officially begin on April 30th, and the seniors will continue to meet with their advisors to ensure they are meeting the weekly 30-hour requirement, as well as taking advantage of all the benefits that the internship program has to offer.
One of the most imperative steps in this long process is for the seniors to figure out where they would like to do their internship – a decision that combines several factors. They must first think about their hobbies, interests, and potential career paths. If they can find an internship that incorporates those interests and plans into real work experience, it can be extremely helpful in determining what they might want to do for the rest of their lives. Senior Zoe Daniel stated that she “wanted to choose something that I knew I was both interested in and passionate about.” This helped her narrow down her choices, and she is currently deciding between the Cottage School and the Armonk town judge. If students do not know what they want to pursue or might enjoy, that is completely normal! Choosing internships in areas they may not be familiar with can still give them useful hands-on experience in a new field and potentially even help them find a new hobby or career path.
Another thing that the seniors must consider is their academic schedules. Although their regular classes will be over by the start of internship, if students are taking any AP classes, they still have to attend them until the AP test. Therefore if they are taking multiple APs, chances are they will have to find an internship relatively close by that can accomodate their time availability. Senior Katie Blum, who is interning at HOTT in Rye Brook, said this was definitely a large factor that played into her decision. She also explained that “having a local internship will be great because you can see your friends and family, and it’s not a far commute back to the school.”
Additionally, seniors must think about how much work they can handle. Because many students do take AP classes, they must learn to find a balance between school and work. Zoe Daniel mentioned that her advisors told her to choose something that will not only be a great learning experience, but memorable and enjoyable too. Plenty of seniors choose internships that are a fun and relaxing end to the year, while others opt for more challenging jobs to see how they handle a stressful environment. This is one of the many benefits of the program, as it forces the students to really plan ahead, and also gives them a real idea of how much they can or want to balance on their plates.
Although there is a lot to consider when determining where to intern, it is definitely worth it! The process may be long and arduous, but by the end of the year, the seniors will have gained a greater understanding of what going to a job and being a part of the workforce is really like. They will be more independent, innovative, responsible, and will have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge outside of the classroom.