West G Seniors INTERNalize Work Experience

Senior Intern Program Provides Glimpse Into Real – World Opportunities

West G Seniors INTERNalize Work Experience

Seniors ! Are you looking to get out of school two weeks early ? If you can do that AND gain valuable, real – life work force experience, would you do it ? Well, then the senior internship is right for you. Here at West Geauga all seniors who are in “good standing” and on a path to graduate have this option.  The internship runs 10 days in mid – May and is comprised of a total of 50 hours of work experience.  While the list of requirements is extensive, anyone can participate.

Students choose a community sponsor who will help supervise and mentor them throughout the process at a business of their choice. The end goal of the internship is to expose students to meaningful work opportunities in careers they might be interested in pursuing one day or to give them a hint at a potential college major. A student is able do his/her internship anywhere, as long as s/he is not being supervised by an immediate family member.

In addition to a community sponsor, a member of the high school faculty serves as an adviser. This teacher conferences with the student one time each week and speaks with the community sponsors about requirements of the jobs and progress the student is (or is not) making. In addition, the students keep a daily journal of the internship, and this is required reading for the sponsor teachers, as well. In order to ensure the proper amount of contact time, sponsors are limited to four seniors each.

For the past few years English/speech/journalism teacher, Mr. Joe Marino, has been the administrator of the program. Marino said, “Over the course of my 5 years running the program, we have had up to 115 students participate in the experience some years. Some of our students have worked in places like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, offices, hospitals and other interesting places. If the students actually use the experience and attempt to gain something meaningful from it, it can be a wonderful opportunity. I’ve seen some presentations that were amazing.”

When asked what he hoped to gain from the experience, senior Michael Lyman said, “I hope to acquire skills that I can apply to the real world after graduating. I hope to develop a better work ethic, also.”

After completing the 50 hours or work, the journals, and conferencing with the sponsor teachers, students must give a final presentation to the senior English or social studies classes detailing their experiences.