Building on an internship experience often helps the student take a first step toward the future. Internships give a student valuable work experience and that experience can be one basis for making all-important college or career decisions.
Students who have experienced Internships that have a robust site-specific curriculum, strong mentoring opportunities to learn about herself, and opportunities for reflection enable the student to actually learn in the real world. Rather than looking at an internship as a series of “grunt” work activities the student who has completed an internship with a strong curriculum and mentoring support can demonstrate how she used her classroom knowledge and tackled a problem finding a solution that worked in the real world.
Caralee Adams writes in Education Week’s College Bound Blog about how internships can become the basis for the all important college essay, but stresses the importance of not merely using the internship as source of general reporting of what the student did, but rather as a jumping off point to examine best condenser mic a specific aspect of the internship, or use a unique experience to relate a lesson learned or view changed and then explain the change of outlook or action taken as a result of the experience.
If your students are involved in internships, make sure they take the time to reflect on their whole experience so that they, and you, can identify their learning. Guiding them in updating their resume and writing a short insert for their transcript describing their experience can help them take a holistic view of their experience. Writing short blogs or Tweets highlighting their experiences will help them to hone their writing skills and help them remember the rich day to day details of their experiences.
When it is time for them to tackle the college essay not only will they have interesting content but they will have had practice in connecting the big picture of their experience with concise ways of presenting it.
It is not where the student interned, but rather what the student experienced and was able to take away from that experience that will influence his decisions and choices going forward that makes for a good essay or good college interview conversation.