AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT MOUNT VERNON INTERNSHIPS
Contributor: Gary Furman
The Business Intern program provides students the opportunity to gain career experience by working with a mentoring professional. An internship is designed to be educational and interesting while serving as a guide for students as they explore potential career aspirations. During Interim Term, interns spend Monday through Thursday with the mentor and deliver a summary presentation in a campus internship meeting during Friday of that week.
In the fall, students are introduced to internship opportunities by Interim Director Meg Brown. Some students have a very clear idea of what they want to do, while others might explore industry options and interview former interns, to find their place. Interested students are invited to attend monthly meetings, where Experts in Residence and External Experts visit to describe internships, how to procure them, and share professional expectations including attire and business etiquette. Mrs. Anne Katz impressed upon our interns to remember that as representatives of Mount Vernon, it is important to be punctual, dress appropriately, and always show respect. She reminded them that those in the workforce would be blown away by 16 and 17-year-olds who ask questions indicating interest, show initiative by trying hard, demonstrate confidence by stepping out of their comfort zones and move further faster by absorbing not just relevant information, but the culture, environment, and other intricate dynamics within the workplace.
Alex Thomas learns what it takes to be an aerospace engineer
Carson Watson skips a trip to Europe to dig into Interior Design
Students have two or three months to obtain internships by identifying a career interest and then reaching out to a mentoring professional. Students are encouraged to tap into their networks to establish opportunities. Developing an understanding of what it means to, “network,” is an important part of the program. Once a mentor agrees to host a student, Mount Vernon records mentor information and conducts an approval process. In 2019, approximately 25 interns worked with over twenty businesses, including Piedmont Heart, the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Equestrian, MVPS, Austin Elementary School, and Emory University. Internship Advisors Robin Mathews and Gary Furman visited student worksites to meet with the interns and their mentors. Students reported interesting and fulfilling experiences, and mentors, impressed with students’ willingness to work and learn, expressed a willingness to host future MVPS students.