Tobey’s Internship Program Provides Essential Career Experiences

Lee Tobey, one of Walpole High School’s assistant principals, has taken steps over the past two years to implement a work-study program for seniors who have interests beyond academics. This handful of students each year participate each year in internships of their interest, including the Marine Recruiter and Army Recruiter in Westwood, while still fulfilling credit requirements at WHS. This program creates important and admirable opportunities to allow students to pursue career or military experience, especially if they do not have plans to attend college.
This program marks a success at WHS; however, the internship opportunity should be extended and advertised in upcoming years to all WHS seniors. While these students are in the midst of applying to college, experience in a field can make applicants more competitive.
In a 2014 survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 300 employers across the U.S. were asked of the importance of high school internships and experience—to which 60% of which agreed that students should narrow in on career options during high school through internships. 90% agreed that high school internships can help students get into a better college. Furthermore, 89% of employers stated that high school internships will provide students with a more competitive resume while they apply for college internships, and eventually, full-time jobs. By expanding the senior internship program, WHS students will be set up for college and future success.
The internship opportunity should be treated as a privilege for students who qualify. To participate, students complete all of their course and credit requirements. Secondly, each participating senior will be required to submit portfolio items displaying the work they have been engaged in throughout their time at their internship. Dependent on possible schedule changes next year, the internship program can be integrated throughout the year or in the fourth quarter of senior year. In some high schools, such as Middleboro High School and Carver Middle High School, seniors have the ability to leave class for a designated number of periods at the end of each day to attend their internship. In others, such as Needham High School, seniors with an internship would not take classes in school fourth quarter, but would instead go to their internship each day.
While Walpole High School may not have the means to implement this program immediately, the school should take steps in order to further internship opportunities for students and eventually, open the program up to more seniors. By doing so, WHS students would be better equipped for college and on, as they would now hold a new competitive edge—experience beyond the classroom.

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