Eleven Chatham High School seniors completed internship experiences during this school year. CEIP (Career Exploration Internship Program) is a 54-hour non-paid internship experience where students learn from a mentor in their career field of interest. The program is managed by CHS business teacher and work-based learning coordinator Michael Loomis.
“It is a great opportunity to get a feel for a potential work environment, meet and work with new people, and above all, better understand whatever career or field that interests you,” said CEIP student Madison Newton.
Four of the eleven students completed their internship hours in the summer prior to school starting.
The other seven interned during the spring semester. The students, their placements, and their mentors are:
Megan Gilligan @ Dutch Hollow Farm with mentor Nate Chittenden (Dairy Farming)
Liam Merchant @ Edward Jones with Dave O’Connor (Financial Investing)
Gaby Neven @ Narofsky Architecture with Jennifer Rusch (Architecture)
Oliver Allen @ Taconic Engineering with Chad Lindberg (Structural & Civil Engineering)
Madison Newton @ Columbia Land Conservancy with John Horton (Environmental Analysis & Science)
Charlotte Tucksmith @ Columbia Memorial Hospital with Arlena Bernockie (Nursing)
Aidan Jackson @ Taconic Engineering with Chad Lindberg (Structural & Civil Engineering)
Angelina George @ Mary E. Dardess Elementary School with Heather Howard and Natalie Hansen (Elementary Education)
Teya Fulbrigge-Moss @ Sheep Meadow Animal Hospital with Dr. Carlene Patterson (Veterinary Medicine)
Samuel Walter @ Rich Kraham Design with Rich Kraham (Graphic Design)
Lily Witaszyk @ Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School with Meaghan McKenna and Mary E. Dardess Elementary School with Jackie Mulica (Elementary Education)
“The value of doing an internship is priceless. The experiences you get from an internship are not the same experiences that you would get anywhere else. You learn if you really truly want to go into the career or if you want to do something completely different.” said student Teya Fulbrigge-Moss
Students not only learned a great deal from the experience, it also had an impact on their potential
plans. Mr. Loomis said, “Students truly get a feel for what it is like in the career field that they are thinking about going into. For many students, they get inspired and
are more confident intheir career choice.”
Graphic design intern Sam Walter said, “It was great and a blast to do as well. I’m so glad I was given the chance to do it. It was a great horizon-broadening experience. It definitely changed my career path into a more creative way.”
Loomis continued, “As beneficial as it is to confirm their selection, it is also perhaps even more helpful for them to see that maybe this is not the direction they’d like to pursue.”
Elementary Education intern Lily Witaszek expressed, “I thought that teaching would be the perfect job for me. However, through interning in a public and Waldorf school, I realize teaching isn’t the right career path for me. To me this proves that an internship can be valuable.”
Through the internships, students received training and guidance, while observing or assisting with amazing things, including:
- Observing a C-Section at the hospital
- Helping with the birth of a calf at the farm
- Overseeing 3rd grade students collaborativelypreparing a large meal at Hawthorne Valley
- Drafting the location for a new local softball field withTaconic Engineering
Designing a client’s advertisement for the Chatham Press
- Witnessing the treatment of dogs, cats, and a duck at the vet
- Assisting in the fight against invasive species at Siegel Kline Kill and Hand Hallow Conservation Area
The 54-hours of interning is supplemented by a minimum
of 27-hours classroom instruction. In the classroom
portion, Mr. Loomis coaches students in workplace topics such as tailoring their resumes and cover letters to specific jobs,dressing for success, first days on a job, dealing with
mistakes at work, sexual harassment, workplace safety, and much more. Students are responsible for maintaining a timesheet of their intern hours and reflecting in a journal about their internship. The internship concluded with the students giving final presentations to their class about their career field and internship experience.
“I would recommend this class to all seniors or upcoming seniors to take. It really gives people an advantage,” said student Angelina George.
Mr. Loomis commented, “I absolutely love this program and the opportunities that it provides to our students. I
look forward to each subsequent year and making connections for our students where they can receive potentially life-changing out-of-the-classroom, real world training and instruction.”
Loomis is already starting to plan for next year’s group of interns with ten students signed up so far. “I get to make connections in our community as I work to find local placements that match their interest. It can sometimes be challenging, but it is so rewarding.”