Friday, January 15, 2016

More than Just Work Experience :A Reflection on Internships in our Leadership Class

There were many, many busy days in the Bedford Science and Technology office this fall.  To support the school office, the school offered to become an internship placement for one of its own students interested in office management and business.  The BSTC office staff is so glad Alex Owens BSTC '16, LHS '16 accepted our offer!

A student in Mr. Barry Calloway's Leadership for Career Exploration class, Alex has been learning about workplace safety, work habits, and leadership.  After an initial period of preparation, students in this course begin internships at various worksites in the community.  Alex accepted an offer to work in BSTC's own office where she serves as a special assistant to the school's leader, Mrs. Kim Halterman, and her office staff.  "Alex has been a 'quick study' and a great asset to our functioning," says Mrs. Halterman.  "I am amazed that, on her second day with us, she already was tackling projects as complex as planning a meeting for my grant coordinator staff--a group that works at seven other schools."  Alex's other tasks have ranged from handling phone calls and mail to helping create portfolios for Mrs. Halterman.  She also coordinated the school's holiday gifts to Bedford County Public Schools staff that directly support the schools and even assisted the school in providing a similar gift to Bedford Town Manager Charles Kolakowski in recognition of his interest in the school.

Fortunately for BSTC, Alex is glad to have all of the experience.  She reports that she is learning workplace readiness skills including people skills and technology skills.  Reflecting, Alex also says, "This internship has changed me since last year.  People trust me."  BSTC is pleased to be part of helping Alex and her classmates gain such important self-confidence via workplace experiences at sites such as Bedford Public Library, a local funeral home, and Bedford Primary School through this course.

Students are invited to register for the leadership class in their junior and senior years in high school. The course provides effective, personalized workplace readiness training to enrolled students--even students who are unsure as to their exact career pathway--and includes a community internship placement during school hours.  Interested students are encouraged to contact their school counselor or Mr. Barry Calloway via BSTC, 540-586-3933.

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