What Is An Internship?
"Internship" is a MCPS course designed as a career-focused program in research, business, education, law, government, technology, medicine or social services. Students have opportunities to explore and clarify personal career interests and link school to work. Internships enable students to:
- recognize how personal skills and talents fit into a career environment
- form accurate perspectives of what skills and education are needed to be successfully employed and get promoted
- apply academic learning to practical situations and bring new perspectives back to the classroom
- develop effective interpersonal skills for the workplace
Why Do An Internship?
The State of Maryland & MCPS has moved towards ALL students being College & Career Ready. GHS is helping to accomplish this goal by providing students with an experiential learning opportunity. Internships are an important element of the career development process. An internship is not the same as a short-term job; internships have structured learning goals, provide supervision, and offer an experiential learning component.
When Can Students Enroll for Internships?
Internships are available during both semesters and are usually completed during a student´s senior year. Students may register for triple, double or single period internships depending on the specific program.
Students and parents should consider the following questions.
What Should Students Consider When Planning For An Internship?
- How many periods can I devote to an internship?
- What extracurricular activities might conflict with my internship schedule?
- Can I maintain an excellent attendance record at school and the workplace?
- Am I expecting to work hard and demonstrate a willingness to learn new skills?
- Am I self-disciplined enough to meet project deadlines, complete paperwork, follow procedures, communication with the intern coordinator, and attend scheduled meetings?
- Can I provide my own transportation or use public transportation to commute to my internship site? Some internship positions are not paid. Interns must assume the expense of commuting.
What Is Expected Of An Intern?
Interns will be working in a professional setting and are expected to act professionally. The intern is expected to be punctual, work hard, act responsibly, maintain confidentiality, and to dress appropriately throughout the internship experience. When determining an internship program, a prospective intern needs to evaluate his/her strengths and talents, interests and goals that can be offered to a prospective employer through a professional resume. Placement procedures vary for each internship program. Students must clarify with the coordinator the established policies and procedures before any search begins. Final approval of the site rests with the Internship Coordinator.
What Are The Internship Course Requirements?
Interns will be evaluated by the Internship Coordinator using a variety of instruments. The course grade is based on the following:
- coordinator site visit
- completed intern assignments
- the number of hours completed at the workplace (required minimum must be met to receive credit)
- evaluation by mentor/site supervisor
- intern produced projects & assignments
All interns must attend a weekly "Dress for Success" Seminar that is held on Wednesdays during one of their scheduled Internship Period throughout the semester. Students are required to "dress for success" by coming to seminar in "interview ready" or "business attire."
How Many Hours Are Required at the Site?
To satisfy MCPS requirements and receive course credit for an internship, the student must commit to scheduled weekly hours during the school day throughout the semester. For each period registered for internship, the student must complete a minimum of 75 hours per semester at the site.
Fall Semester through Spring semester during school hours:
- 3 internship periods = 225 hours per semester in order to pass
- 2 internship periods = 150 hours per semester in order to pass
- 1 internship period = 75 hours per semester in order to pass
Time spent commuting to and from the site is not included.
What Must Be Considered About The Site?
The following must be considered when searching for an appropriate internship site:
- Work permits are required for interns under 18 years old.
- Some sites require interns to be American citizens and/or over 18 years old
- The intern must be supervised by an adult at all times.
- The site must have at least two adult employees.
- The site cannot be located in a private home and must be a safe work environment.
Interns may NOT routinely drive as part of the job, open /or close the business without adult supervision, transport money, perform work that requires strenuous lifting, work in or around motor vehicles or with heavy equipment.
How Can I Apply?
Meet with your counselor to be sure you meet the necessary requirements for an Internship and to determine how many periods you have available. Then, see Ms. Shaw in Room 3040 to pick up an application. (Also usually posted outside office door) You will need to prepare a resume and cover letter to submit with your application. Help with preparing those documents is provided by Ms. Shaw.
If you have your own Internship site, you must submit to the Internship Coordinator a letter from your supervisor, on the business letterhead, indicating your position, site address, the days and hours you work, and any important details of the Internship site.
What If I Have More Questions?
Contact the Gaithersburg High School Internship Coordinator, Vernelle Shaw in Room 3040 at 301 284-4638 or Vernelle_L_Shaw@mcpsmd.org
"Creating Career-Focused Opportunities for GHS Students"