HHS Students’ Future Benefits from Internships

Karen Liu, Reporter

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One under utilized option at Hershey High School could give students an edge when applying to colleges.

Internships are a beneficial opportunity for high school students interested in getting real world career experience. 

If a student is interested in applying for an internship, they must secure a mentor on their own and be approved by Victoria Smith, the Career and Internship Coordinator at Hershey High School. Internship details must be submitted before the school year begins. 

Victoria Smith works on internship documents on October 31st, 2019. Smith is in charge of coordinating internships, and her office is located in the Guidance Office. (Broadcaster/Karen Liu)

“The internships are really about getting the experience ahead of time so that students can make the best choices for themselves and their careers or college or whatever their plans are after high school,” said Smith. Internships are especially beneficial for students interested in gaining experience in their selected career path.

Allison VanZant, a counselor at HHS said, “It’s nice for colleges to see that you were not only involved academically in school, but you have also expanded your interests and taken it outside the classroom.” High school internships have the possibility of assisting them in college and career applications.

Additionally, internships are also a great opportunity for a student who is still unsure of what career path they are interested in. Even if a student discovers that they do not want a career relating to their internship, it still benefits students because they have gained new experiences.

Internships can also be beneficial for social connections. “[Internships] are great for networking and getting out into the community and meeting different members of the community who may be on the same path or have the same career goals as you,” said VanZant. Internships not only allow you to meet other students with similar interests but also allow you to meet experts in your desired career field.

Jerusha George, a senior at HHS, is currently interning at Lebanon Valley College under Dr. Walter Patton, the Chair of Chemistry and Physics and an Associate Professor of Chemistry, who is currently working on active research. George specifically is studying in Patton’s biochemistry lab and will participate in research later in the year.

“Research would be not only a cool experience but would give me an edge in the application process since not a lot of high school students do research in high school,” said George. George is interested in a career in a science or medical field and believes that her internship will help her in the application process for colleges and careers in the future. 

Since interns are working in a professional setting, they have a different learning environment than high school. George said, “It’s exposed me to a different way of thinking.” She believes that learning high school can be very standardized since there are so many students and less teachers; however, since she is able to more personalized experiences in her internship, George thinks that she has grown significantly as a student. Additionally, she is working specifically in her interests, so it is more exciting to work in.

“It’s just so beneficial to get out there and experience something that you may be passionate about,” said VanZant.