Throughout the school year, students work tirelessly to achieve in school and prepare themselves for a more prosperous future- in most cases college. Whereas summer is often synonymous with relaxation and time off from work, some students opt to spend the summer months interning with elite companies. Not exactly the epitome of relaxation, but interning does come with benefits.
Some of the signature programs at school such as Academy of Information Technology (AOIT) and Science Technology and Research Signature Program (STARS) either require or encourage students to attain such internships.
In AOIT, every student must complete a 200-hour information-technology based internship by the end of high school. While this may seem like a tall ask at first, AOIT, through special homeroom classes, facilitates each student finding a suitable internship. During first semester, AOIT brought in local business leaders and hosted practice interviews for each student.
Junior Grace Llewellyn plans to intern at Johns Hopkins this summer to suffice her AOIT internship requirements and gain valuable skills. “When I interviewed [for the position at Hopkins], the tactics I learned at the mock interview really came in handy,” Llewellyn said about her summer internship at Johns Hopkins.
Although the details of her work there has yet to be revealed, she will be working in the Applied Physics Lab (APL), where hands-on research and experimentation is the priority.
Junior Yiming Lee will be working as a programming counselor at a local day camp called TIC. Campers at this camp spend half the day on technology like programming and robotics and spend the other half playing sports of all kinds. Although it is technically a job, it satisfies the AOIT requirement because it involves IT-based education.
Finding an internship is no easy task. With hundreds of kids applying for a set number of spots each summer, some internships can be highly selective. “I had a hard time finding an internship at first, but the support of AOIT and a peer recommendation helped me get one. Now all I have to do are all the required forms,” Lee said.
The campers at TIC are from Kindergarten through eighth grade. Different ages of children require a different type of teaching. While the younger kids will have to be taught the basics in simple programming languages like LOGO, the older campers, many of whom are returning campers, are skilled programmers who work in languages like JAVA, Python, and C++. “I was not familiar with all of the languages I have to teach this summer, so I had to spend some time re-learning them,” Lee said.”
Lee starts work on June 19, although staff training begins during the last week of school.
While there are a multitude of paths to follow throughout the summer, students like Llewellyn and Lee have selected to intern at innovative companies, experiences that will allow them to gain knowledge along with sharing what they know with others.