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Summer internships prepare HCPS students for life

September 12, 2016 - Student Success

Dozens of students spent their summers learning about the world of work.  Across the district, students from many high schools interned with companies, foundations, and other types of businesses learning about various industries by actually working in them.  Students were immersed in the day-to-day inner workings of local industry including non-profit foundations, hotels, restaurants, and even a huge metropolitan airport.

Francisco Barber, currently a senior at Newsome High School, enjoyed his internship working at the Hillsborough Education Foundation (HEF) which was part of the Go2Work Initiative.  He worked directly for Fred Weber, the Director of Operations for the non-profit foundation.  According to Francisco, “The internship allowed me to have a better understanding of what the workforce is really like along with learning about things like office etiquette and an overall sense of the real world.”  In addition, he also listed several outcomes that were a direct result of his time spent at HEF, such as “understanding why a college diploma is so important, why I should continue to become a better person through kindness and being a person that shines life into other’s lives each day, and especially the importance of being part of a team and of something bigger than myself!”

Megan Binette and Jordan McDaniel were part of a new Summer Airport Management and Internship program that was facilitated by the Tampa Bay Regional Aeronautics Academy and located at Tampa International Airport.  Megan and Jordan are both seniors who are enrolled in Robinson High School’s Aerospace Academy which is taught by retired USAF Colonel Jeff Kaloostian and which has a dual-enrollment agreement with Embry Riddle Aeronautical Academy. 

Both of these young ladies are focused on earning as many credits as possible in their career interest areas, which for Megan includes flight school and being a commercial or military pilot, while Jordan wants to go into the aeronautical engineering field or perhaps become an Air Traffic Controller. 

Jordan feels her summer internship strengthened her time management skills and opened her eyes to different aspects of what an airport is all about.  According to Jordan, “the internship showed me how to be a good businesswoman by working with great role models at the airport.”   Megan said that, “I leaned that I am able to work with different kinds of people in an organization that is non-stop every single day.  I know now that I will always want to be included in some part of aviation, and the internship strengthened my ideas of how I want to spend my life.”

In addition to these internship programs, Career and Technical Education for HCPS also placed students from the Academy of Hospitality and Travel, the Academy of Finance, and the Academy of Information Technology programs at several high schools and career centers in workplaces such as Grow Financial, USF, and Suncoast Credit Unions, Tampa Yacht and Country Club, several restaurants, and Verizon.  All in all, this was time well spent for these students, and the hope is that they will be better postsecondary students, workforce employees, business managers, and even CEO’s and company presidents someday as a direct result of how they spent this summer preparing for life.

Video courtesy of Pasco County Schools

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