Internship Program Proves Experience IS the Best Teacher

Each February, a two-week Winter Internship program at The Field School allows students to immerse themselves in the “real world.” It’s a little different for each of them — volunteering in a senior center; tutoring younger students; shadowing a Member of Congress; or experiencing the workplace alongside a zoologist, doctor, or art gallery curator.

Holly Prince ’20 worked at an animal hospital. Matt Lavine ’15 explored Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Samira Davis ’18 gained insight into the restaurant business.

“Students augment what they learn in the classroom with a variety of internships,” says Program Coordinator Carrie Johnson. “With different placements each year, they accumulate significant on-the-job skills and tools to secure placements and drive their own learning experience.”

Throughout the process, students work closely with Ms. Johnson and a full team of faculty members to identify, secure, complete, and report on their activities. They explore Field’s “I-Bank” — a catalog of over 400 internship leads in myriad fields. From October to January, biweekly grade-specific training prepares them for all facets of an independent job and internship search. Students must make initial contact, interview for potential internships, and coordinate details such as transportation to and from their location. They make presentations to their classmates, practice new commutes, and handle lunch breaks and any unexpected situations as they arise.

“The real beauty of this program,” says Ms. Johnson, “is that kids get to pick what they want to do. We let them choose — thoughtfully and professionally — their own learning path. It’s an amazing opportunity that allows students to leave their mark on a world otherwise reserved for adults.”

Does your school do something similar?

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