A few days ago, I walked down to my basement where my wife and her business partner were working. (shameless plug here - @wanderlust_home_decor on Instagram and @wanderlusthomeanddecor on Facebook) My son who is 12 was helping them out with some of the making of candles. They all joked that my son was their intern. That got me thinking…
Why do we not have internship programs in our communities for students at the high school level?
What a great thing to have to have your school and businesses work together and make learning the center of a community. Not many students have the proper work / authentic experiences in order to thrive in this world. Traditional education unlike like unfortunately is not represented by grade point averages and standardized test scores. An internship can give high school students an edge over those traditional students relying on scores to get to the next level of their education or job path.
How could an internship program look within a high school curriculum? There would have to be a mindset change in a school district in order to make it happen. Each semester would have a choice of programs that would attach subjects to students who are interested in them. I have created a list of possibilities that include the following:
Architecture, Art / Photography & Design, Business, Consulting, Engineering, Fashion, Finance, Government & Politics, Hospitality / Events & Tourism, Human Resources, Information Technology, Journalism / Media, Law, Medical & Public Health, Nonprofits, PR / Marketing, real Estate, Science, Television / Film, and Theater / Music.
Each one of these areas of programs could be difficult attaining for students in rural areas. Technology could be used in order to work internships virtually in this case. Schools would have to set aside time during the year in order for students to work their internships. Look, I know this would be challenging to make happen for our students of this age. And I don’t think that is enough of a reason not to do it.
Let’s get our high school students involved in internship programs where they can go further than books and worksheets to learn about possible career paths.