Career Benefits of Job Shadows and Internships Through WLC

Career Benefits of Job Shadows and Internships Through WLC

Josie Brendes, News Editor

Workplace Learning Connection is a business affiliated with Kirkwood Community College that provides hundreds of career exploration opportunities for high school students. Teenagers are able to participate in job shadows or internships. Job Shadows consist of a one-day commitment where students observe a career to see the average day and duties of a person who holds that job. Job shadows range from a Veterinary Science Day, Performing Arts Day, Medical Engineering Day, FBI Career Day, Surgical Tech Day, and the list goes on. I have taken part in three job shadows so far; Surgical Tech, Genetics, and a Nursing Day. I am very interested in health care and each of my job shadows opened my eyes to different parts of the medical field. I have used a surgical robot to perform an important surgery on a Starburst, inserted a trach tube into a human model, practiced stitches, and scrubbed in on a surgery, all at the age of 16! During a job shadow, students can take part in hands-on activities, simulations, show-and-tell activities, Q&A’s, and more!

The next step up from a job shadow is the Internship Program. To apply for an internship, students turn in an application with their top three choices listed and then attend an interview with fellow peers. If they are chosen for an Internship, the student then meets and formulates a schedule that works for them and for the host. Internships can either be 45 hours or 90 hours consecutively and can be completed during any season of the year. During those hours, you are an active learner and participant in that career. The internship provides a time to ask questions to gain insight on the career one is seeking to see if it is the right match for you.

During the summer going into my junior year, I did a Nurse Practitioner and Hospitalist Internship at Mercy Medical Center. I was able to see various parts of the hospital and the incredible workers who make each instrumental part of the organization work. I spent many hours in the NICU/ Birthplace, the Pediatric Clinic, the Cardiology Department, and I observed four surgeries. My Internship was very diverse and I learned things about my passion for medicine and for helping others. It has also helped shape what types of classes I plan on taking during high school and college. Although things can change immensely throughout the next few years, I feel consoled knowing that I have gotten guidance from my Job Shadows and Internships and I would recommend it to every single high school student. These programs are prestigious and can help put students at a higher level when applying for colleges.

Ann Brendes, an Internship Coordinator for the Linn County Region, tries to encourage all high school students to take advantage of this opportunity.

“High school Job Shadows and Internships through Workplace Learning Connection provide students with an opportunity to see and experience a career in which they have an interest. They also develop valuable transferable skills in communication and self-advocacy. This allows students to be more-informed when making choices for high school classes, as well as post-secondary decisions,” said Brendes.

Go sign up today, and help yourself make important decisions for your future!