The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

The Student News Site of Mayfield Senior School

The Mayfield Crier

Summer Internships Offer Early Glimpses of Work Life



Sleeping past twelve, scrolling through Instagram endlessly, and visiting the beach are the highlights of those glorious summer days with nothing to do and nowhere to be. But this last summer, several Mayfield students skipped the snooze button and instead kept busy by doing internships. They learned that a summer spent working hard yields benefits that extend beyond just a nice-looking resume.

“Doing an internship was great because I got to see what a real-world job is like,” said senior Courtney Kelly, who spent three weeks in Boston, Massachusetts working with the Boston Red Sox. “There are so many parts that are involved in something simple like a sport.”

In addition to offering a “real world” perspective in a workspace, an internship helps students establish connections with professionals.

“Gwen, my professor, was like a mentor to me,” said junior Danielle New, who worked five weeks in a biology lab at Caltech. “Some professors are strict, but she was dedicated and patient.”

Internships can also offer self-growth opportunities for students that are not necessarily available in a classroom setting. Kelly, who is not one to approach strangers in public, was pushed out of her comfort zone when she had to sell raffle tickets to passersby in the Red Sox stadium.

“It definitely helped me in terms of independence, charisma, and self-confidence,” said Kelly.

However, the intensity and pressure of a setting filled with experts in specific fields can be challenging for a mere high school student. Adjusting to such a foreign environment can be quite a struggle.

“I used a lot of machinery,” said New. “It was intimidating because I was given a lot of responsibility and I didn’t want to mess up the entire experiment or conclusion with bad data.”

Internships can also help students make serious decisions about their futures. With college application season looming, students must begin thinking about potential careers.

“I am considering pursuing the sciences in college and as a career, and this work has prepared me so well for that,” said New.

Students understand that gaining educational experience outside of the classroom is important in preparation for the notoriously difficult task of applying to college.

“Colleges care about how students spend their time because it tells them what they value,” said college counselor Lori Holtrust. “Doing an internship confirms an interest in a particular area and furthering their education and practical application of that discipline.”

This summer, more students will have to decide how to keep busy. But work is work and learning is learning, whether it is done at a major corporation or a local charity.

“Summer work at Stanford isn’t a foot in the door at Stanford for college,” said Holtrust. “Ultimately, it is important for students to advance their education however they can, and it doesn’t matter where they do that.”

Photograph: Junior Danielle New, who interned at Caltech this past summer, is interested in studying science in college.