During Interim week 2023, students in the Upper School are participating in a variety of intentionally curated learning experiences. Some students have gone on global expeditions, some are exploring Atlanta’s famous landmarks and participating in activities with CORE (Collection of Relational Experiences), and others are immersing themselves in potential future professions by participating in internships. Internships are an invaluable opportunity to build students’ professional networks and gain insight into industries that complement their passions and current fields of study. Internships can act as either an affirming experience, solidifying a future major in college or a specific career path, or, equally as important, internships can help to rule out certain paths, helping to vet out areas of interest, and reset directions.


Mount Vernon alumni are the perfect professionals to host Mount Vernon interns, they know just how powerful it is to start with questions and follow individual passions. This year McKayla Davis, Class of 2026 is interning with Margaret White, Energy Engineer at Burton Energy Group and MV Class of 2016. Since McKayla is in Grade 9, her Upper School experience has just started but Maker, Design, and Engineering (MDE) has been her favorite class, “My favorite part of MDE was using the Fusion 360 design program. Mr. Tiffin told me it is similar to what mechanical engineers use so I decided I wanted to intern with an Engineer.” McKayla plans to shadow Margaret and other engineers at the company, “I’ll get to experience a lot of different types of engineering and see if any of them spark an interest. I’ll also ask questions about what schools they went to and what degrees they earned to get their jobs. It will give me some insight into whether I want to go down that path or not.”


Blythe Graham, Class of 2024, has always had a passion for helping people, especially babies and young children. “Last year I interned with a PK5 class at the Preschool. It was a great experience and just solidified my love for babies. I know I definitely want to make a career out of helping children and recently I have decided I wanted to go into Neonatal or Pediatric Nursing” Blythe explained. This week she is interning with a nurse practitioner at Northside/Northpoint OB/GYN for the first half of the week and for the second, she is interning with an OB/GYN at Northside Hospital. She plans to shadow each of them as they do small procedures, perform C-Sections, and facilitate births. Blythe added, “I know I want to go into the medical field, so the more I can experience the better! But this experience might also show me that I might not want to go into the medical field, and that’s okay too.”


Jesie Bodine, Class of 2026 is interested in the social and psychological aspects of his internship. Jesie has a passion for psychology, especially around how people respond to art. Jesie shared some of the specific opportunities he will have during his internship with Mary Bayus, Gallery Director at the Vinings Art Gallery, “I will get to know three artists featured in two separate exhibits. I want to know about their art, how they felt when they made it, what it means to them, and how their art makes others feel. I want to become a psychiatrist and this is a great opportunity for me to get to know these people on an emotional level. This process will also help me make a recommendation on what pieces belong where in the exhibit.”


Many internship opportunities develop through connections made through friends, family members, or professionals. Throughout Upper School students are developing their networks and building relationships while pursuing their passions. Some students are stepping into these internship experiences for the first time and have not developed the connections. In that case, the internship team: Deshawn Jenkins, Ricky Hyde, Eduardo Milrud, Marie Graham, Melvin Feng, and Sheri Johnson provided names of Mount Vernon parents and MVXperts that work in those fields. It is the student’s responsibility to contact them, inquire about their careers, and see if they would be interested in hosting them. The Mount Vernon community is committed to giving our students an impactful experience to grow their connections throughout Atlanta.


Last year, Wells Maley, Class of 2017 hosted Senior Livi Sweeterman at her company Swells. Wells was ecstatic to have an MV student helping out, “It was great to have her fresh perspectives. It helped re-spark my passion and motivation.”

From last year to this year, there was a 65% jump in internship participants (28 students to 43 students). Next year, the program is expected to grow as more students learn about the real-world experiences their peers participated in.

This Friday morning, students will present and showcase their 2023 Interim internships. Each student will stand in front of their peers, explaining what they expected, liked, wished, and wondered, including artifacts (pictures, clothing, tools, instruments, and more) that embody their experience.

Check out more interim stories on #MVInterim2023.