Each year the students in grade 11 take one week to experience what a work week is like in the adult world. Students are encouraged to choose an opportunity that sparks their interest, and then present their thoughts on that time away to the high school students and faculty. Here is what our students did and what they found interesting and inspiring in May, 2017:
Eva Murphy worked at the Flour and Salt Bakery in Hamilton, NY (owned by a former HVS high school English teacher, Britty Buonocore).
Why: I wanted to learn to bake and to find out what it is like to start a business.
Expected: Hard work, early hours, and teamwork and the experience definitely delivered in all those areas
What: Baked and learned recipes, cleaned, learned to deal with the public, science of baking, taking initiative
Favorite: Customer service (hard but really good to understand)
Learned: Brand before you start a business, don’t be afraid of failure, plan, work your hardest
Frances Kowalski worked at the Spikenard Bee Sanctuary in Floyd, VA.
Why: I’ve always been afraid of bees and wanted to overcome it and am so interested in and concerned about bee colony collapse.
Expected: Lots of bees, to get stung, and learn about bees – I didn’t get stung! And got all the other experiences.
What: Lots of farm work, seminar on colony collapse, lots of reading on the subject, working with the bees
Favorite: Working with the bees – holding a comb and not being stung and all the new knowledge
Learned: Taking care of our bees is critical to human survival.
Why: Very interested in environmental issues
Expected: To learn about office work and current environmental issues
What: Shadowed the communications director, helped with the website, did photo and publications research, explored D.C. from an urban planning perspective
Favorite: Learning about an urban environment, transportation networks, the variety that is possible in an office job
Learned: That city life isn’t so bad – may apply to some urban colleges after all and a lot about environmental issues in both rural and urban settings.
Why: Very interested in environmental issues and curious about green chemistry
Expected: To learn about the subject
What: Helped to write a part of a 4th grade curriculum, took a safety course, prepared for a field trip AP seniors on solar cell, researched hydrogels in preparation for the next interns’ work
Favorite: Participating in the field trip and interacting with the students from another school and learning about the subject
Learned: That you need to do a job you love and are passionate about, as all his colleagues at Beyond Benign demonstrated that imperative.
Angelica Cronin worked at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH shadowing pediatric surgeons.
Why: Following a serious accident and the medical care I received at this hospital, I decided I want to become a doctor and want to spend as much time as I can learning about the profession.
Expected: To get up early, be engaged all the time, and cement fascination with medicine – fulfilled them all
What: Shadowed rounds in the pediatric intensive care unit, trauma rounds, experienced the premi nursery, watched students practice surgery on pigs, attended a genetics lecture, watched surgeries
Favorite: Loved it all
Learned: Each health care provider is giving countless hours beyond what you see as a patient. She definitely wants to become a pediatric surgeon and is a little sad amount how many years of study will be needed before she can meet her goal.
Jasmin Mentzer worked at Tobacco Free Action Communities.
Why: Her sister works there and she has volunteered there previously
Expected: To learn more about tobacco prevention
What: Wrote letters to newspapers, attended a meeting with health and social work providers in the area, researched facts about adolescent smoking, and helped in the office
Favorite: Enjoyed it all
Learned: That she has a real interest in public health and may wish to pursue this in the future.
Nathan Cohen-Stern worked on a hydroponic vegetable farm in Virginia.
Why: Interested in doing something that was very different from his usual interests
Expected: hard work
What: Long days of gardening chores, labelled and packaged produce orders, washed tomatoes, packed and prepared produce for green markets
Favorite: Meeting his goal of participating in something hard and persisting through something challenging
Learned: I don’t want to be a farmer but I want to continue to expand my capacity for hard work.
Barin Nader worked at the law office of Salazar and Erikson in East Greenbush, NY.
Why: I am interested in possibly pursuing a career in law and legislative work.
Expected: To learn about cases, see litigation in process – which didn’t exactly happen
What: An enormous amount of paperwork, copying, filing, scanning, experiencing the back-office reality of law
Favorite: Understanding what aspects of law really would interest him – litigation, international, business, human rights
Learned: There is too much paper! And legislative law is tremendously detailed and perhaps not his cup of tea
Flora Xu worked at Showroom 35 which is in the handbag, footwear, jewelry, and promotional fashion business.
Why: Wants to pursue a career in the business of fashion
Expected: Office experience, learning about trends, seeing the fashion business in action
What: Followed the design director, collected images to analyze trends, assisted in web design updating, talked to sales and marketing staff
Favorite: Enjoyed being treated so professionally and being given real tasks to do, and really liked learning about marketing and packaging design.
Learned: She is still very interested in the business of fashion.
Arafa Salimu worked with a professional photographer in Brooklyn, NY who calls his style “visual architecture.”
Why: I really like taking pictures, but wanted to become more comfortable behind the camera.
Expected: Didn’t really know what to expect.
What: Was given the opportunity to choose her subjects, just walk out on the street and speak to people about taking a picture, assisted in the studio.
Favorite: Finding the words to introduce myself to people and ask them whether I could take their picture
Learned: That I really like portrait photography.
Karan Stokum worked at the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, CA.
Why: I am fascinated by all aspects of animal care and have a long and affectionate connection to the aquarium from many childhood visits.
Expected: To work hard, learn about sea animals, and further explore the elements of animal study that I wish to pursue
What: Worked with Seahorses and Sea Dragons, cleaned tanks, fed, checked water temperatures, assisted with veterinary procedures, assisted in dissecting deceased fish, took pier readings
Favorite: Learning about the interesting veterinary procedures specific to marine life, shadowing the animal husbandry workers
Learned: I want to get a diving certification to explore the ocean more, and I don’t want to work with fish but still love learning about all kinds of animals and plan to study them and work with them.
Mackenzie Cronin and Ava Teague are on extended practicum experiences and will present their work upon their return.