This blog is part three in a series on virtual internships. In this blog, we listen to the student and teacher perspective. Katelyn Martin, an 11th grader at Cross County High School, and teacher Keith Bardsley provide a final reflection.
This blog is part three in a series on virtual internships. Read about the internship program here and from the mentor perspective.
Katelyn Martin, 11th grader, Cross County High School
I was excited about my internship! Dr. Long, my mentor, is a veterinarian for Pet Coach, a virtual pet clinic. Over the past 3 months, Dr. Long and I have been discussing different types of dog breeds.
Part of my internship project is to write an article for the website on the Cairn Terrier. I have been researching, gathering information, and using my critical thinking skills to determine what is important and what is not. In the middle of this project, I realized what I have been doing is really learning how to gather information and translate it so other people can understand it. I am also going to present to the folks at PetCoach, print out my article and have it there for their review. I will go through how to ask questions on websites, where you can find other articles about other dogs and your basic steps and need-to-knows about the website.
My internship has been an informational and inspirational experience. Throughout my internship, I have learned a lot about the real world and what it is going to be like. I am very interested in vet school and Dr. Long has made it more of a real-life experience. I already know what I’m expected to do during vet school. I’m really excited to graduate and go to school.
One more thing I would share. We are a PBL school and we focus a lot on oral communication. We are also problem-solvers and we are media and technologically savvy. We use our computers for every subject so we are technology-driven. We have a lot of confidence which comes from public presentations. At first, I was really shy; I wasn’t sure New Tech was for me. I adapted and learned how to communicate better. I have a lot of confidence now. I’m not scared to speak in class. As New Tech students-we crush it in the real world.
Keith Bardsley-District College and Career Advisor, Cross County High School
This is the first year that I have worked with Katelyn and the virtual internship program. I have learned a thing or two from this project.
Life isn’t always linear and that is what our students have learned in the project. We have several students who have interned in a field and have decided that this might not be the career for them. We have also seen an equal number of students who realized they do want to pursue their chosen field. This program has acted as a guide for many students.
Katelyn has grown in her ability to bounce back from failure and to find success in really tough situations. For example, she had to restart her entire project. I remember Katelyn coming into the classroom to tell me that after her meeting with Dr. Long that she would need to change dog breeds. She took a huge, deep breath and told me she needed to start over. That put her a little behind and she had to work over the weekend to catch up. She could have walked away from the project and blamed the mentor, blamed me or blamed the dog breed she chose. She could have done a lot of different things. But what she did was take a deep breath and get to work. She found a better solution. The ability to bounce back from challenges, the ability to navigate challenges, and the ability to overcome failure is a powerful message and learning experience.
When I think forward to next year, I know that every project and every experience can always be improved. I wish I could talk to the mentors once a week. I wish we had the capacity to provide professional development. 90% of our mentors did an amazing job, but I am left with the realization that there are unbelievable human beings, around this nation, who are dedicated to providing kids with opportunities and experiences so that they can live a passion-driven and choice-driven life. I am grateful for every mentor.