Senior Interships Return to Last Year’s Format


Alexandra Gonzalez, Reporter

Similar to years past, the Class of 2023 has been allowed to participate in a senior internship. Previously, businesses and corporations around Stamford and surrounding areas took in seniors from Stamford’s high schools for three weeks in May. Except this year was different. Stamford decided to change the format of the internship, turning students away, then, after protests, went back to the original format. The real question is: did this dramatic change of schedule prevent students from wanting to participate completely? 

In November 2022, the “new format” was announced and was heavily criticized. This new format allowed students to participate in this internship from January 2023 through June 2023. Students were expected to go to school from first through third period, go to their internship during fourth period, and leave whenever their day was done (determined by the internship). Multiple issues with this schedule change caused the uproar. First, only students who have a free period during fourth block can participate. Second, any student with outside commitments, like sports or clubs, was unable to participate because the internship ran until any time after school. Because of these reasons, a small percentage of seniors attend all of Stamford’s high schools. The internships didn’t have enough students to fill the spots; therefore, the decision was made to go back to the “old format”. 

This older format that we are currently following seems to work better for the majority of students. Students will go to their internships from May 15th through June 2nd, throughout the entire school day (hours vary depending on the internship). Grades will be frozen for the duration of the internship, allowing students to solely focus on their internship responsibilities. More students have signed up for the internship now that this current schedule is in place. 

Students from Stamford High seemed to have mixed opinions on the internship because of the whirlwind of changes they have experienced. Patryk Zielinski has been turned away from the senior internship experience because there are “simply no internships that are of interest to me with this year’s selection”. Part of this opinion builds on the idea that the quality of internships might have been better if the directors hadn’t changed it so suddenly. On the other hand, many students are willing to get out of the classroom and take advantage of the internship offered to them. For example, Caroline Bernacki explained that she “wanted to do the internship to gain professional experience and confidence in the career I wish to pursue.” Regardless of the switch in format Bernacki recognized that she could “gain a better understanding under the leadership of a mentor”. Similarly, Lindsay Taylor is participating in an internship at SoundWaters “because it will give me an insight on real life work in the science field and other hands-on experience that I have never tried before”. Even with the lack of internship selections students that have been offered, seniors have been able to adapt and find something they enjoy. Dea Veshaj is “doing an independent research project”. This independent project allowed her to “learn about something I’m passionate about” during the course of the duration of the internship. 

As far as myself, I have decided to commit to an internship. Although the pickings were slim, and the application period was short, I still decided that participating in the internship program was in my best interest. I was able to gain professional experience in high school, which is most likely not something I would have gotten elsewhere. Additionally, I was able to still follow through with any outside commitments I had, all while attending my internship. 

This current internship has allowed other students, including myself, to gain valuable experience you wouldn’t get in a classroom.  It is still highly suggested to utilize this chance to advance your knowledge in your area of interest.  Additionally, networking opportunities may arise, which might also result in job offers in the future.