“My internship made me change the way I treat people. You don’t always know what people are going through.” - Maddie Richardson ‘20
As part of The Gregory School curriculum, all seniors are required to complete an internship of at least 60 hours. Started in 1995, our internship program is intended to provide seniors with an opportunity to enhance and apply knowledge and skills developed during their time at TGS, to give back to the community through meaningful work, and to gain a greater sense of themselves and a better understanding of how organizations function outside of TGS. Beyond the skills and insights students glean from an internship, internships also engage our students in something beyond themselves that requires awareness of the lives and needs of others—a powerful force in combating “senioritis.”
Elizabeth Krauchanka ‘20 did her internship with professional photographer Amy Haskell ‘91, and her experience touched on all three aspects that Ms. Clashman outlined. “I got very interested in photography and started doing it outside of school, and then I wanted to learn a lot more about how it worked.” Elizabeth said. She decided that an internship would help her fill in pieces she didn’t know. “It was a really good opportunity to have a perspective on what it’s like to be a photographer.” Ultimately Elizabeth decided that while she still loves photography, something more in line with graphic design might be a better career fit for her.
Students are responsible for planning and executing the entire internship process, from identifying areas of interest and contacting organizations about a possible mentor, to creating a portfolio, thanking their mentor, and giving a presentation to other students and faculty about their internship upon completion. Through this process, students develop professional skills beyond their internship duties, Michelle Borleske, Director of College Counseling, explained. “Students learn to make connections and to initiate contact. They have to collaborate with people they don’t know well and work with people of different ages. They learn to arrive on time and to meet the expectations of the people they are working with.” In this way, internships at The Gregory School allow academic experience, life skills, and community awareness to come into focus together.
At his post-internship presentation to fellow students, faculty, and his mentors from the Pima County Health Department, Stryder Rodenberg ‘20 summarized beautifully the spirit and intent behind The Gregory School internship. “When you do an internship, choose something that you care about and make it meaningful. Grow as a person and think of others and not just yourself. We’re lucky to be here and we need to give back.”