How to Start and Sustain
a Summer Internship Program
for High School Students
(Based on the Experiences of the San Diego Section’s Internship Program)
Contents Overview 3 Rationale 4 Other General Points 5 Participants and their Roles 6 Finding Hosts/Coordinating the Program 7-8 Sample Timeline 9-13
corporate letter.doc 15-16 intro.doc 17 flyer.doc 18 application.doc 19 envelope.doc 20 screening form.doc 21 speeding_selection.doc 22 letter_to_stu.doc 23-24 dinner_invite.doc 25 speech_prompts.doc 26-27
“How to start and sustain a summer internship program for high school students"
OVERVIEW From 1999 to the present the San Diego Section of the Marine Technology Society has sponsored a six-week summer internship program for high school students.1 Each student is provided with a hands-on science/technology experience under the direction of a workplace mentor and given a $1620 stipend (equal to minimum wage for the time spent). In this way we hope to inspire some of San Diego's best and brightest teens to pursue careers in ocean science and ocean engineering. We already have some evidence of our influence. A number of our former interns have chosen college majors related to ocean science and ocean engineering. Several former interns continue to work for host companies on a part-time and summer basis while they attend college. Creating this kind of interest in our most talented youth has obvious benefits for MTS’s corporate sponsors and the ocean community in general. Because of this program, MTS has become one of the better-known professional societies in the larger San Diego community. The San Diego Union Tribune even did a lengthy feature article on MTS-SD and this program.
1 We placed seven students our first year. We wanted to “get it right”, so that sponsors would participate again. We have build yearly from there. In 2004 we placed fourteen students and in 2005 fifteen.
RATIONALE Research shows that a disturbingly small number of young people these days are choosing to become scientists or engineers. By providing an intense six-week summer experience, MTS-SD hopes to inspire not just any teens, but San Diego’s very best and brightest teens to consider ocean science and ocean engineering careers.
While a number of programs elsewhere provide internships to college students, the MTS-SD program targets high school students. In our opinion, college students have, in most cases, already chosen a profession direction. High school students are still deciding and can be strongly influenced by the kind of experience that we provide. We specifically target students who are at least 16 years old and who will become 11th or 12th graders the school year following their summer internship.2
We feel that the stipend is a crucial part of this program. In most cases, high school juniors and seniors must generate some income during the summer. The stipend is equal to California minimum wage for the time spent, and, in truth, doesn’t cover a lot more than transportation costs. Without a stipend this program would almost certainly become elitist – something that only the most financially well off could afford to do.
2 In California teens must be at least 16 in order to get a work permit.
OTHER GENERAL POINTS Most local high school students have a ten-week summer, so a six-week program provides some flexibility for meeting other summer obligations and participating in other events. It is the philosophy of MTS-SD to have an intern program with as little red tape as possible and to give participating companies and institutions maximum flexibility in methods of selection, hiring status3, starting date, student tasks, etc. Here in San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography is also a participant. The stipends for Scripps interns are provided by donations. Larry Nordell, the SD section’s intern program chair, is always available to answer questions. [email protected]
3 Some companies work through temp agencies. Some require drug tests. HR directors are the experts in these matters.
PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR ROLES MTS-San Diego:
♦ recruits quality candidates from San Diego County high schools by advertising through school channels;
♦ collects applications; ♦ screens applicants; ♦ works with corporate hosts to help select the best student for
their situation; ♦ makes regular contact to ensure “things are going well”.
The Corporate Host:
♦ identifies a mentor within their company who will oversee the “day to day” work of the student. Obviously, someone who is enthusiastic and relates to young people would best fit in that role;
♦ provides the $1620 stipend, and any other materials necessary.
The Mentor: ♦ introduces the student to the work environment; ♦ explains proper work etiquette, if necessary; ♦ finds MEANINGFUL projects, tasks, assignments for the student
that involve science, math, computers, etc.; ♦ is available to answer questions related to the work, the
profession, etc.; ♦ has fun.
♦ works hard for a total of 240 hours (6 wks x 40 hrs/wk) at the direction of the mentor;
♦ follows all rules required by the corporate host; ♦ makes an extra effort to know the people in the workplace; ♦ has fun; ♦ writes letters of appreciation to the host and mentor at the
FINDING HOSTS/COORDINATING THE PROGRAM
This manual will be worthless unless the right people are found to “carry it through”. The two crucial keys to making this program work are: 1st) finding an enthusiastic program chair with decent
organizational skills and a knowledge of the high school community.
In San Diego the chair is Larry Nordell who was a 30-year high school science teacher and well known in the educational community. He knows how to reach the kids, how to talk to them and what to expect from them. Finding someone in high school science education to chair or co-chair is important. A county office of education’s science coordinator should be able to provide the names of some possible candidates as well as contact information. A recent retiree is not a bad choice. In San Diego the program chair is on the Board and attends Board meetings. 2nd) the strong support of the chapter’s board. Companies must be willing to take in interns. The first time around they may be reluctant. Section board members who know professional decision-makers in companies should be the one’s to ask, not a high school science teacher. In San Diego, especially the first couple of years, time was spent at Board meetings in December, January and February on this topic. Board members would volunteer to contact decision-makers they knew in companies.
In San Diego Brock Rosenthal, Ocean Innovations, knows the local industry and many of the people in it. He has informally acted as a co-chair and has been responsible for getting many companies to agree to participate. A co-chair model could be very effective – an expert on kids and schools and an expert on companies. Usually companies who take in an intern once are sold on the program and are willing to do so again.
by Jan 15 - hosts companies/institutions should be identified
We would recommend starting small (to work out the bugs) - growing a little each year. Placing six or seven interns the first year would be a good starting point. http://www.mts-sandiego.org/internship.php has
the comments of San Diego interns; a PP Presentation to share with prospective
companies; a Quicktime movie that describes the program in
San Diego. These might be useful in getting companies to participate.
In the documents section at the back of this manual, see corporate letter.doc – sent to companies who say yes.
Jan 24-31 - flyers/applications printed & mailed
In the documents section see intro.doc/flyer.doc/application.doc. These three documents are triple-mailed (US mail) to every high school in San Diego County (public and private). They are addressed to the Science Department Chair, the Math Department Chair and the Guidance Department Chair. This is necessary to improve the chances that the information will get to the students. Here in San Diego the program chair was able to get mailing addresses from his principal’s secretary.4,5 He made a database and created a mail merge document to address the envelopes. (In the documents section see envelope.doc.) He did
4 The San Diego chair is a teacher (recently retired). 5 Similar information should be available at a county office of education.
all the addressing, folding and stuffing himself with the help of a few students. In San Diego, RD Instruments has paid for the postage the last two years. The flyer and application are also posted on the MTS-SD website.
March 1 - applications due Applications are collected in MTS-SD’s PO Box. We get 50-70/year. We continue to look for applications for an additional week after March 1st. Here, the chair opens the envelops, arranges the content in a standard sequence, attaches the photo, makes sure all required elements are present, but nothing extra. He attaches (staple) a “scoring page” at the end for the screening committee. In the documents section see screening form.doc.
March 7 - screening committee
Each corporate host ultimately selects its own student intern. However, 50 applications are too many to consider. A screening committee should meet (on a Saturday approx. March 7) to evaluate the quality of the applicants.6 All applications are double-read and “graded” (see screening form.doc). Only the strongest applications are to be circulated to companies for selection. We try to keep 6 About three weeks before this date, an e-mail message is sent to all board members and points of contact at host companies asking for committee volunteers. Depending on the number of applications 4-8 evaluators can do the required work in 2-3 hours. Volunteers typically find that reading the applications is interesting and fun.
approximately 2-2.5 times as many “finalists”7 as positions available. Borderline applications are sometimes triple-read.
March 8 - May 30 - interviews and selection CAREFUL: INTERVIEWS AND SELECTION PROCEED MUCH TOO SLOWLY. Decision-makers in companies are typically very busy people who travel a great deal. It’s important that the program chair not allow student selection to get bogged down. If selection is delayed into late May, the very strongest applicants will make commitments to other opportunities. Regular “How’s it going?” or “Can I help?” communiqués to decision-makers should be sent (e-mail or phone). It is recommended that the original applications be retained by the program chair and that only photocopies (hopefully color) are circulated. In San Diego we make three sets (copies) of applications, so that three companies are selecting at the same time.8 One at a time is too slow. More than three causes confusion and frustration. Each company/institution proceeds with selection by its own methods. In some cases, one person selects, and in other cases, it’s a committee. Each company/institution communicates with applicants directly. Usually, but not always, 2-3 students are asked to come in for interviews. IMPORTANT: When a company/institution has confirmed that a student has been selected and agrees to be it’s summer intern, that student’s application is removed from circulated sets and companies/institutions in possession of
7 There are no firm rules in this regard. It’s a little different every year. Sometimes a student who doesn’t “make the cut” will fit a unique niche and we don’t ignore that. 8 We remove the scoring page from circulated copies of applications.
sets are informed so that they won’t waste time and effort considering the already selected student.9 Once a company/institution selects a student, the set of applications is returned to the intern program chair (usually via mail). He makes sure the set is complete and that the applications of selected students have been removed. Then he delivers it to the company/institution who will be selecting next.10
There is one more recommendation for speeding up this process that is best described by the speeding_selection.doc.
July 1-15 - internships begin11
Most high school students have a ten-week summer, so a six-week program provides some flexibility for meeting other summer obligations and participating in other events. In San Diego, the host company/institution and student agree on a start date. Sometimes the six weeks are not continuous due to the obligations or vacations of a mentor or a student. (cont. p 13)
9 If this is not done, sometimes a student will get what he or she perceives is a better offer and tell the first company “I’ve changed my mind.” This can lead to lots of confusion and in some cases, hard feelings. 10 Who selects 1st, 2nd, etc. is subtly handled by the intern program chair. In most cases companies/institutions don’t know if they are 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Order is partly based on years of participation, the chair knowing who will make a decision quickly and convenience in passing along the set of applications. 11 Sometime in late June a congratulatory/informational e-mail letter is sent to all students selected. In the documents section see letter_to_stu.doc.
On approximately July 15, e-mail inquiries are sent to students, as well as company/institution points of contact. “How’s it going?”12 Usually student responses are forwarded to company/institution points of contact. This almost always makes companies/institutions feel good about participating.
follow up In San Diego, interns (and one parent each)13 are invited as guests to the December Holiday Dinner. (See dinner_invite.doc). As part of the evening’s program, students are asked to spend 2-3 minutes describing their internship.14 This is a real hit with attendees and creates excellent momentum for the following year’s program.
12 In San Diego we have had very few problems. 99% of the interns and companies say they are happy with one another. 13 They can bring other loved ones. However, they would be asked to pay the cost asked of all other attendees 14 It is not a good idea to tell them about the speaking request until after they have accepted the invitation to attend. Even good high school students often have anxiety about public speaking. In the week before the dinner an e-mail is sent regarding the 2-3 minute speech. See speech_prompts.doc
corporate letter.doc 15-16 intro.doc 17 flyer.doc 18 application.doc 19 envelope.doc 20 screening form.doc 21 speeding_selection.doc 22 letter_to_stu.doc 23-24 dinner_invite.doc 25 speech_prompts.doc 26-27
Marine Technology Society San Diego Section
P.O. Box 371348 San Diego CA 92137-1348
March 1, 200 Dear , Thank you again for agreeing to be a partner with the San Diego Section of the Marine Technology Society in this exciting summer internship program for exceptional high school students. There is a real need for opportunities of this kind. When all is said and done, I think that this is something we can all feel good about. Because of your willingness to participate you are already being viewed as a hero in the local educational community. Now, as we begin the selection process, it is our hope to inspire some talented young people into pursuing a career in ocean technology by showing them “what we do”. In the interest of “smooth sailing”, it would probably be a good idea at this time to reiterate the role of all participants in this project. MTS will: * recruit quality candidates from San Diego County high schools by advertising through school channels; * collect applications; * screen applicants;
* work with corporate hosts to help select the best student for their situation;
* make regular contact to ensure “things are going well”.
The Corporate/host will: * identify a mentor within their company who will oversee the “day to day” work of the student. Obviously, someone who is enthusiastic and relates to young people would best fit in that role; * provide the $1620 stipend, and any other materials necessary.
The Mentor will: * introduce student to work environment; * explain proper work etiquette, if necessary; * find MEANINGFUL projects, tasks, assignments for students that involve science, math, computers, etc.; * be available to answer questions related to the work; the profession, etc. * have fun.
The Student will: * work hard for a total of 240 hours (6 wks x 40 hrs/wk) at the direction of the mentor;
* follow all rules required by the corporate host; * make an extra effort to know the people in the workplace; * have fun;
* write letters of appreciation to host and mentor at the conclusion. Please contact me with questions and concerns. Communication will improve our chances for success. Sincerely, Larry Nordell Intern Program Chair Marine Technology Society San Diego Section (619) 469-9269 (h) [email protected]
Here are the flyer and application for The San Diego Section of THE MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY’s award winning STUDENT SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM. Now in its __th year, we anticipate that MTS-SD will be able to offer about _______ SD County high school students an internship opportunity (with stipend!) during the summer of 200 . Please photocopy as many copies of the enclosed application and flyer as needed (b&w is fine) for qualified and interested students at your site. Please note: the “business” of MOST of the companies that will be hosting students is not biology, but ocean engineering. Students who have a strong interest in engineering and engineering careers would be the most suitable applicants. Encourage students to look at MTS’s website: www.mts-sandiego.org Larry Nordell Program Chair, MTS -SD Section Recent Science Chair, Mount Miguel HS [email protected]
flyer.doc THE SAN DIEGO SECTION of
THE MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY announces its 7th annual
SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
The MTS Program will provide a six-week summer experience for motivated high school students, hosted by one of MTS’s corporate
Last summer’s sponsors included SAIC, Scripps Inst. of Ocean., Impulse, RD Instruments , SeaBotix, Sontek, Fugro-Pelagos, Oceaneering,
Ocean Sensors, Sidus Solutions and Deep Sea Power & Light.
Students will be provided with a hands-on science/technology experience, building important scientific, technical and
employment skills under the direction of a workplace mentor. Students will also receive a $ 1620 stipend upon successful
completion of the program. Applicants: Must be at least 16 years old on July 1, 2005. Must be starting the 11th or 12th grade in the fall of 2005. Must have a 3.5 GPA or better. Must submit a complete application. The application form may be photocopied in b & w. Timeline: Applications are due March 1, 2005. Interviews and Student Selection will occur during March - May 2005. All students interviewed will be contacted about the status of their application. Final Student Selection will occur in late May/early June 2005. Internships begin in early July 2005.
Complete application must be received by March 1, 2005. MAIL TO:
Marine Technology Society P.O. Box 371348
San Diego CA 92137-1348
application.doc THE MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY’S SUMMER INTERN APPLICATION FORM
FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS Name:
Address: Phone #
City, Zip: e-mail
Date of Birth: Gender:
High School: Date of Graduation:
In addition to this form, your application MUST include:
• a copy of your high school transcript
• a small photo
• a letter of reference from a teacher I understand that the Marine Technology Society’s Summer Internship Program is a six-week program that requires 40 hours per week of “on-site” participation. I agree to fulfill this requirement, and also to abide by all the policies and regulations required of employees by my host company, corporation or institution. Student Signature I understand that this opportunity will benefit my son/daughter and agree to assist in ensuring that all obligations are successfully met. Parent Signature On the other side of this form (ONLY), please respond to ALL the following: Why are you interested in participating in this program? What are your educational/career goals? Who do you “look to” for guidance about your future? Why? Do you have any hobbies or technical skills that are science/technology related? Please tell us a few things about your family. For example, do you have older brothers or sisters in college or who are college graduates? Are your parents college graduates? What are their occupations? Complete application must be received by March 1, 2005.
Marine Technology Society P.O. Box 371348
San Diego CA 92137-1348
MARINE TECHNOLOGY SOCIETY San Diego Section P.O. Box 371348 San Diego, CA 92137-1348 School-to-Career Specialist or Guidance Department Chair schools db:DB File not open High School schools db:DB File not open schools db:DB File not open
INFORMATION about the SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAM enclosed.
Age........Birtdate....July 1, 1989 or before....verify on transcript OK? _____ Date of graduation .....verify on transcript.......June 2006 or June 2007 (circle one) GPA______________......3.5 or better; OK?____......verify on transcript Missing? (check if approp.) Applic. ____ Transcript ___ photo ____ letter ____
Grade: A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- Grade: A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- Grade: A+ A A- B+ B B- C+ C C-
Hi I moved the application deadline forward again this year (3/1), so that the student selection process (companies selecting students) could be completed sooner. In prior years sometimes we weren’t finished until June! We lost students and companies along the way because of that. Even with the earlier start, I need your help so that the process does not getting bogged down along the way. Two suggestions: (1) If you intend to call students in for interviews, please don’t say, “When can you come in?” Too often you’ll hear “a week from this Wednesday” or something like that. High school students should be able to accommodate almost any three-day window. Please say; “I’d like to complete interviews this week. Which works best for you, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon this week?” (2) When interviews are over, tell the candidate, “We hope to have a decision by _____. If I call to offer you the position, please be prepared to say yes or no. Think about it between now and then, so that you won’t need to ask for time to think about it when I call.” In previous years we’ve had kids stretch the process out by asking for “time to think about it”. In some cases they were waiting to see if they’d get a better offer! We can’t let high school kids “play us”. If all participating companies/organizations do these two things, it will help a lot. Please call or e-mail with your questions and concerns. Larry Nordell 619-469-9269 [email protected]
Marine Technology Society
San Diego Section P.O. Box 371348
San Diego CA 92137-1348 June 12, 2005 Dear , Congratulations on being selected an intern this summer by Scripps Institution of Oceanography!!!!! Scripps is a corporate partner with the San Diego Section of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) in the Summer Student Intern Program. We at MTS believe that the people at Scripps are committed to providing you with a rich “real world” science/technology/engineering job-like experience that could change your life forever!! I must tell you, however, having worked with many other students over the years in other similar programs, that the kind of energy, motivation and enthusiasm YOU bring to the job with you EVERY day will greatly influence how meaningful and rewarding this experience will be for you. Energy, motivation and enthusiasm..... EVERY day !!!!! Since it is unlikely that you are familiar with the everyday corporate work world (it’s very different than high school), you need to ask lots of questions of etiquette: How should I dress? To whom do I report? Who do I call if I have an personal emergency? Ask lots of questions about science/technology/engineering too. And PLEASE be sure you get started from home early enough so that you’re “on time” EVERY day. In the interest of “smooth sailing”, it would probably be a good idea at this time to share the role of all participants in this project. MTS will: * recruit quality candidates from San Diego County high schools by advertising through school channels; * collect applications; * screen applicants;
* work with corporate hosts to help select the best student for their situation; * make weekly contacts to assure “things are going well”.
The Corporate/host will: * provide the $1620 stipend; * identify a mentor within their company who will oversee the “day to day” work of the student. Obviously, someone who is enthusiastic and relates to young people would best fit in that role. The Mentor will: * introduce student to work environment; * explain proper work etiquette, if necessary; * find MEANINGFUL projects, tasks, assignments for students that involve science, math, computers, etc.; * be available to answer questions related to the work; the profession, colleges, etc. * have fun. The Student will: * work hard for a total of 240 hours (6 wks x 40 hrs/wk); at the direction of the mentor; * follow all rules required by the corporate host; * make an extra effort to know the people in the workplace; * have fun; * write letters of appreciation to host and mentor at the conclusion. You should probably share this letter with your parents. It might be a good idea, as well, to keep it for future reference. Please contact me with questions and concerns. Communication will improve our chances for success. Sincerely, Larry Nordell Intern Program Chair Marine Technology Society San Diego Section
Philip, David, Erica, Jeremy, Katelyn, Lisl, Andrea, Jonathan, Matthew, David, Susan, Nicholas, Andrew Erik and Mitch Marine Technology Society's Summer Interns 2003 Wednesday, December 17th, the SD Section of the Marine Technology Society will be having its annual Holiday Dinner at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island.....6:00 pm. The SD MTS Executive Board has requested that I invite all of you as MTS's "guests of honor"!!!! You will be introduced to the approximately 100 people attending, be given a certificate of merit, receive resounding applause....and of course, have a nice FREE dinner too. You may also bring one parent/family member our guest as well (free). Additional family may attend, however, they would be asked to pay the $35/person cost asked of all other attendees. More details will follow, but I wanted to give you the date as soon as possible so that you could mark it on your calendar. As soon as you are able, please confirm that you received this e-mail and that you have the evening free. I look forward to hearing from you. Larry Nordell Program Chair for MTS
December 6, 2002 Kelsey, Jesse, Casey, Marwa, Hana, Isai, Thomas, Michael, Chris and Kate Marine Technology Society's Summer Interns 2002 I look forward to seeing all of you this next Wednesday night (Dec. 17 @ 6:00-6:15) at the MTS Holiday Dinner. I want to thank you for so admirably representing the high school student of SD County in this unique program. Although they may not be willing to admit it, the new host companies weren’t expecting a high school student to make a real contribution, BUT YOU DID. Those companies that have had students in previous summers and, therefore, knew what to expect, were all EXTREMELY impressed with this summer's students....YOU!! Thanks. The MTS Board of Directors has asked me to ask the students (you) to each say a few words about your summer on Wednesday night. I hope you don’t mind. There are fifteen of you.......so nothing very “longwinded”. You can use it as a chance to formally say “thanks” to whomever you’d like....give them public recognition. Please introduce yourself....your name, your school, your company.....your family too, if they are present. Ideas as to what you might comment on: What you did....w/o being too technical....especially mention any specific task that you thought was interesting, fun or challenging. What you learned.....or better yet.....ONE thing you learned that you “thought was cool”. Something that surprised you.....or amused you about PEOPLE in your workplace. Something that surprised you about your workplace.....the PLACE. ......just like your high school? Probably not. An amusing anecdote.....something that happened.
If the experience has affected your career plans or aspirations, we’d REALLY like to hear that too!!! Where do you hope to go to college? These are just some ideas. You may even want to print out this page so you can jot down a few thoughts concerning any of the above. Use as many of these ideas as you “see fit”.......or not. Nothing “longwinded”; if you’ve talked more than three minutes....you’ve said too much. Please feel free to contact me if you need further clarification. Again, I look forward to seeing you. Larry Nordell Program Chair