Internship opportunities

The second semester senior is notoriously unmotivated, sick of classes and ready to finally leave school. For years, seniors used to be trapped in the walls of Greenwich High during the end of their high school career but now, starting in mid-May, seniors will be released for the senior internship program.

This program allows seniors to take a break from classes and explore the real world through self-designed projects and internships at local businesses. It gives seniors the opportunity to “pursue their unique interests, passions and curiosities,” a key goal established in Greenwich Public Schools’ Vision of the Graduate.

The senior internship program requires students to take initiative and find what really piques their curiosity. With the ability to drop all of their classes, many find time to explore passions they would never have done otherwise. This program is the ultimate example of “freedom with responsibility” because the hard work of students is recognized and rewarded by the school, in a way that allows them to explore and enjoy the outside world.

There has been a wide range of internships chosen by seniors over the years. Many choose to intern at local businesses in their field of interest. Some choose to commute into New York City to intern at financial or technology companies. Others stay within the school system and intern at elementary schools as assistants to teachers. With no obligation to attend classes, students get a taste of the working world, and are able to reflect on the experiences before they enter the workforce.

Those who wish to work more freely may self-design a senior project. Some are building a cookbook, recording an album, or researching and writing articles about what interests them. Students are also able to work in groups and collaborate on a project, provided they undertake a large assignment.

Before anything is finalized, however, the proposed projects are reviewed by a committee and must be approved before they begin. The senior project allows students to explore their passions independently, in a way they wouldn’t be able to do inside the classroom.

Now it might seem as though students are completely set free a month before the end of school, but that’s not the case at all. They are still held accountable for their work during this time. Students on internship must meet with a committee and log at least 30 unpaid hours a week. They also respond to a weekly journal prompt on the website, which is approved by a faculty mentor.

Sometimes, people worry that GHS does not offer enough programs to those who are looking to directly enter the workforce, and not continue their education. The senior internship is the perfect opportunity for those students to prepare for their time in the workforce, and learn the skills necessary to succeed. The internship program is greatly supported by local businesses, which commonly offer positions to seniors interested in working for a month.

Now more than ever, internships are a huge part of the hiring process for many companies. Even as a high school senior, making the initial contact with businesses allows students to learn the way they operate, and establish a connection in their field of interest.

As students prepare to embark on the internship program, they seriously begin to consider what lies in their future after high school.

 

Henry Ricciardi is a senior at Greenwich High School.

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