Internship With Top Companies Gives Students Opportunities to Grow
Inside Daramis’ portfolio is an interactive game she created.
“It’s like a ‘live or die’ type of game, where you read a small caption and then have to make the decision to go left or right. It’s actually a horror game where you’re stuck in this building and have to decide how to get out,” said the 17-year-old senior in Arsenal Tech’s Math and Science Academy. She’s also enrolled in a computer science class through CTC.
The internships offered relate to CTC’s 15 career pathways. Through these pathways, students can earn industry certification and gain knowledge and marketable skills in computer science, culinary arts, welding technology, animal science, TV broadcasting and more.
“These are comprehensive internships (students have completed two years of their career pathway program and the internship is aligned to that specific pathway,” added Carter.
In fact, several students in the culinary arts program were recently awarded internships to work at The Alexander, a hotel in downtown Indianapolis.
“These internships really give students an opportunity to utilize the skills that they learn in the classroom. It gives them real-world experience and a chance to work alongside professionals in the industry,” said Barnett, who monitors students’ progress in their respective internships and even transports some of them to and from job sites throughout the school day. “Students not only gain industry skills, they also learn soft skills, like getting to work on time, working in team environments, learning how to use email formally, answering the phone. … It’s a really good way for students who have limited work experience to get a feel for what the workplace is like.”
However, the company saw an even bigger need to transform K-12 students from technology consumers to technology pioneers. This past summer, Nextech launched Catapult, a yearlong intensive experience for rising juniors and seniors interested in the tech field.
While learning the skills needed to create technology and meeting local leaders in the field, Jung said she and her Nextech team also watched students blossom in personal ways over the summer.
“The biggest change we saw was their understanding of what it really takes to have a career in technology — the skills that are necessary, the different job types,” said Jung. “But we also saw some of the kids become more comfortable with themselves. We watched kids learn about themselves. We watched a kid who barely spoke at the beginning of the program, mature, grow and find his voice. … That’s why I (we) do this.”
“This program is very rewarding. Working side by side with people at Nextech and meeting with several of the industry professionals opened my eyes to what a job in the tech field would be,” said Damaris. “I always thought it was kind of like working all day at a computer by yourself, but going to local technology companies and seeing how they actually work showed me that it’s a very open environment, where people collaborate and work together.”
He’s also fully aware that he wouldn’t have this opportunity without the CTC internship program, which he believes more students should utilize.
“It’s a good program to help kids get out there and experience new things,” he said. “With this program, kids don’t just have a mindset that they can only flip burgers for the rest of their lives. They can go out and contribute and do something with their lives, something big in the world.”