What it's Like
In the middle of my junior year in high school I went through a long process to be accepted into a school-to-work (S2W) program, which allows seniors to participate in an internship in a career field of interest. Everyone wants to be in the program because it's an incredible experience.

To be considered, I had to fill out the application, provide three teacher recommendations, and complete an interview. Of 115 applicants, only 40 were accepted – and I was one of them!

The Structure
For the first nine-week term, we had S2W class every day. From learning about professional behavior to learning how to interview, complete a job application, and write a resume and a cover letter, I learned a lot.  Professionals came in to teach us about proper attire and how to problem solve in a variety of workplace scenarios. We also went to a job fair and restaurant to put our learnings into practice. My S2W program also incorporates Kuder® Navigator™ to help students find careers that align to our interests, skills, and work values, as well as plan for college and prepare for a job.

Finding an Internship
The second term marked the start of my internship. One project included conducting an informational interview. The purpose of this interview was to speak with someone who had my dream job and ask them questions about what they do and how they got there. Based on their feedback, I gained a better understanding of what I wanted to do for my internship. Some students changed what they wanted to do because they found their dream job wasn't what they thought. I interviewed two different people; one in public relations who works for the governor of Iowa, and a CEO w of an insurance branch. From these interviews, I found pros and cons in both jobs, but none prevented me from wanting to work in those types of careers. Close to the end of the term, I participated in a mock interview to prepare for my upcoming internship.

internship sign

I interviewed for Kuder in early October 2013 for an internship in the marketing and communications division. I was nervous the whole time, but I remembered my mock interview training. When I found out that I got the job, I was relieved and excited. Since I started working for Kuder, I’ve  found that many of the skills I learned from class have come into play. This internship opened my eyes to the workforce and taught me that the description for a college major doesn't necessarily correspond to what a job in the field would entail. My job at Kuder has let me see that a major in business and communications is the best route  for me because I now know what it's truly like in the field. This internship has helped me grow and learn and has given me an incredible experience that most high school seniors don't get to have. Overall, it’s been life changing, and I believe that every school should have a S2W program.

  1. career and technical education
  2. internships