Students get their foot in the door before college

Brightwater Treatment Plant

Employers are much more likely to hire a RAHS student with internships and work experience rather than someone with a generic resume who lacks experience. Junior Ruby Whorton will be part of the Brightwater Water Treatment Center internship this summer. The plant is part of King County’s regional wastewater treatment system.

“Graduating students with paid or unpaid internships such as the one I’m taking on their resume have a much better chance at landing a full-time position upon graduation,” said Whorton. “Students are doing internships as undergraduates, and it is now not unusual for recent grads to take an unpaid internship with hopes of turning it into a permanent position or at least making some contacts and building their résumé.”

Employers do not create internships just to be nice to students and others interested in a certain career. While an interview or a company test can add to what an employer knows about a person, an internship helps an employer evaluate how an individual would fare in the workplace.

“Internships have always been important,” said Whorton. “I think that what young people are trying to do is build work experience, build portfolios, build skills and internships are a really critical way to do that.”

Many internship opportunities help set the foundation for your career. It is important that you choose you internships based on your interests and career prospects.

“I really love nature so I chose an internship that will help me work closely with that such as Brightwater,” said Whorton.

Many times students identify early what careers they don’t want to do and that information can be just as valuable when learning about career options. Junior Mitchell Turner also sees the importance of internships.

“High school internships are a win-win for both employers and students,” said Turner.

Many students begin college with no idea of what career they may want to pursue, but by completing an internship, they begin to get acquainted early with some of the career opportunities that are available.

“For students, work experience is the key to ensure they make a good career decision and build their professional network,” said Turner. “By employing students, companies get exposure to talent early in their career journey and help support the well being of the local community.”

Internships during high school are not as prevalent as those that are completed during college. This is why doing a high school internship is so important because it sets students apart from peers.

“Internships set you up to stand out when applying to colleges, and along with that it gives you a chance to see if you would enjoy a certain job through this ‘test run,” said Whorton.

The majority of internships during high school can be found by networking with family, friends, teachers, previous employers, etc., or by prospecting by contacting organizations of interest to see if they are interested in hiring a high school intern.

“In this economic downturn, employers are relying increasingly on interns to take up areas where full-time hiring has been cut,” said Turner.

In this intern-boom, it’s vital to comprehend all aspects of the job before commiting.

“It’s greatly important to understand what you are applying for since you will be stuck partaking in that field for the length of the internship,” said Turner.


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