Internship Program Commemorates Success of Pilot Year

Choosing a career path is a choice that seniors must make. This choice is not always an easy one, but with the help of Woodland Regional High School’s Internship Program, students have gained the confidence they need to a pursue a career of their choosing.

On Tuesday, May 24, a breakfast was held in the media center at Woodland to commemorate the experiences of both the students and their employers throughout this year.

The Internship Program was piloted during this 2015-2016 school year and was immensely successful. Both the students and employers had beneficial experiences and the Internship Program hopes to expand to include more students next year.

James Staib, Woodland Career Center Director, and advisor for the Woodland Internship Program, matched students with employers whose profession coincided with their area of interest. The student was then able to work with experienced professionals throughout the school year. Many students found that they were able to garner a better understanding of their likes and dislikes before they head to college.

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Staib believes the major goal of the program is to expose them to the real world experience that is not provided in a college classroom.

“I want them to see what it’s like, not only in the business that they’re in, but what it’s like to work in the real world with adults and interact with them on a professional basis,” said Staib.

Kelsey Mitchell, senior, completed her internship with the Prospect Police. Upon working with the officers and gaining first-hand experience, she learned to be more confident in herself and her abilities since confidence is essential to enforcing the law.

Senior Bianca Poehailos also found her internship with Attorney Jeff Holley to be extremely rewarding. Poehailos was immersed in the job, performing legal research online and even shadowing a lawyer and prosecutor. Jeff Holley found it somewhat challenging creating an experience that would mimic law school as much as possible.

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“I wanted to make it [the experience] unique and interesting for her and that took some time and effort,” said Holley.

The extensive application of legal skills that Poehailos endured assured her interest in following her career path. She did, however, decide add English to her Political Science major as she recognized the importance of being able to communicate efficiently.

Poehailos is very thankful to the program saying, “It was the best way I could have spent my senior year.”

The breakfast was held to show appreciation to these businesses and more that agreed to help and thanked them for the time they put into working with these students.

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With the success of the program this year, Staib hopes to expand the program for the 2016-2017 school year.

“I’m hoping to have more interns that are interested,” said Staib. “I would like to be able to place any students in an internship or job shadow.”