Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Importance of Internships

I'm currently in the process of revising the teen success guide I've written: FLIPPING BURGERS AND BEYOND: FIND YOUR OWN PATH THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND LIFE (

In the guide I stress the importance of internships for: college applications, learning about possible career fields, and trying out careers before committing to grad schools such as law and medicine. And one of my favorite aspects of internships is creating these yourself rather than trying to compete with hundreds of other people for formal internships.

Today's Wall Street Journal careers article titled "Students Craft Internships to Fit Interests" is exactly what I talk about in FLIPPING BURGERS. I particularly like the quote from Northwestern University grad David Fine about an internship he crafted for himself: "It helped me to realize that this is a feasible interest to pursue and a feasible career field." Yes! That's what I'm talking about.

And there was another article in today's Wall Street Journal -- a page one story titled "High Schools Add Classes Scripted by Corporations." The main point of the article was that engineering corporations provide high school curriculum about engineering topics. The corporations do this because there's going to be a lack of engineers in the near future.

Although there's some controversy about this approach, what's important for FLIPPING BURGERS is evidenced by Lancaster High School (Antelope Valley, California) student Amber Frauhiger. She was good in math and science, but had never considered pursuing an engineering career. Now that she's interested in the field thanks to the engineering high school curriculum, she's the perfect candidate to test out this field through an engineering internship she creates herself.

Do you have any stories to tell of internships you created for yourself?

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