Teens gain valuable experience from summer internships

Ta Lynn Mitchell

As an alternative to a summer of staying at home, catching up on TV series or relaxing, some students decided to go out and explore what jobs and internships have to offer.

“I decided to be a manager of a camp run by teenagers,” senior Monica Rodriguez said. “Four adults were there for safety, and I assumed the responsibility of taking care of kids within a cabin and family group.”

In addition to earning money, some students said their internships and jobs gave them a better understanding of careers they are interested in perusing as well as experience they could use for other jobs.

“I decided to write my college essay on how I leaned to become a leader and step up to the challenge,” Rodriguez said. “I realized that I really enjoy dealing with kids as well, which will be an interest I pursue in college.”

Students said they were challenged by the work which allowed them to learn about how to deal with similar obstacles in the future.

“I had absolutely no experience, as one of the only two high school students accepted for an internship with Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA),” senior Charlotte Coover said. “It was intimidating at first to ask the college students for help who were experienced in the area, but I reminded myself that we were all there to learn and it was not a competition.”

Internships and jobs serve as avenues for students to explore their strengths and how they can improve.

“Throughout the experience I was able to stand up and be a leader although I was surrounded by older people,” Coover said. “I was not afraid to be a leader and confident in my abilities.”

According to University of North Carolina Greensboro career center, a good rule of thumb is to begin looking for internships at least 2-3 months in advance, leaving time to write or fine-tune a resume, apply for internships and interview.

“Colleges do find it impressive to have students with work experience and who are committed to hard work,” said college counselor Rebecca Wandro. “Students should work hard in any job they have because that employer can provide future references and important connections.”