It is important to identify what careers a student has an interest in before committing them to an internship that they have no interest in whatsoever. Ideally, the students should be allowed to explore a variety of careers before going on an internship and taking/securing a valuable spot that might better suit another student. Internships are great and are a very important part of the career readiness process but so is the career exploration component. It’s like running the bases. You can’t skip 1st base and start with the 3rd and expect to score a run.
We heard a story from an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher that we wanted to share. The teacher said she has a student who did not want to speak up to the job coach about what job she might be interested in pursuing. As a result, this particular student was sent to the culinary arts class because there was space in that class. She did not like it one bit. The good news is that she was able to determine unequivocally what she did not like and did not need to work in an internship with a food company.
The takeaway that we all know and we need to be careful that we do address is that a successful career education program is a process. Project Discovery allows students to:
- Explore careers and find what it is they love to do;
- Learn and practice real job skills for the jobs they are interested in; and
- Put what they have learned to use in the community.
– All with the goal of supporting the students toward a career path that is just right for him/her.