By Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor After a year of mostly virtual senior internships, the Class of ’22 was ready to end their high school careers with a bang. However, for some, that was much easier said than done. An annual tradition for seniors, internships provide a unique opportunity for graduating students’ last month of high...
By Jui Bhatia, Managing Editor
After a year of mostly virtual senior internships, the Class of ’22 was ready to end their high school careers with a bang. However, for some, that was much easier said than done.
An annual tradition for seniors, internships provide a unique opportunity for graduating students’ last month of high school. Students are encouraged to find internships in the community in which they are interested while giving them some independence and experience in possible future careers.
Many seniors this year struggled with getting the internships they wanted in their specific fields due to a variety of reasons. For many people going into STEM-related areas post-high school, searching for a company that would take them on as an intern was difficult because COVID-19 restrictions forced labs to accept a lower number of interns. Similarly, many students in fields like finance and psychology were unable to find internships because companies did not allow interns to access client information due to privacy reasons.
The number of seniors who were unable to get the internships they wanted hit a record-high this year, according to Jeanne Braun, Coordinator of Community and Volunteer Services at Conestoga. Although she expected more companies to accept seniors this year, many retained old COVID-19 policies from last year, and, in some cases, offered only virtual internships. To remedy this, however, Braun was able to partner Conestoga with EduCere, a platform for online classes.
“More students have reported this year that they’ve heard a company or an organization will only take a college intern. I usually only hear that a little bit, but this year, my seniors heard that far more often than in the past,” Braun said. “They (EduCere) offer a four-week online course and students can choose from different (course) options, pace themselves and work through, for example, two modules at once.”
Students like senior Madeleine Tierney used the platform for their internships and chose it in part for its flexibility. The course is self-paced and offers educational options in a variety of fields.
“I was looking for an internship in business, and it was difficult to find one because companies don’t want to take new people,” Tierney said. “I ended up choosing Conestoga’s business course. It is a topic I’m interested in doing, and ultimately, I am doing something that I am happy with.”
Many other students also ended up looking to places like local libraries for their internships. Senior William Huang found that local libraries were more accepting, and often gave students the opportunity to do more than they could have otherwise.
“A lot of business firms (are) not going to look for high schoolers, and even if they do let you in, you’re not going to do anything finance-related,” Huang said. “I feel like I would do more things at the library than I would be (able to do) at any finance internship. A lot of my friends are also doing their internships there, so it’s also more fun.”
Despite these challenges, most seniors, like Ahmari, leave with no regrets.
“I tried to approach this (process) open-mindedly,” Ahmari said. “It’s just a high school internship and I want to try to have fun if I can. I wanted to be okay with exploring something I don’t know much about.”
Jui Bhatia can be reached at [email protected]
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