Summer internships a rich learning experience for LHS students
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Summer break proved to be an excellent time to get to work for four Loveland High School (LHS) students who turned skills they learned inside the classroom into opportunities to grow in a professional environment. The internships were obtained through the LHS chapter of INTERalliance. The chapter is part of the INTERalliance of Greater Cincinnati (Identify, Nurture, Train, Employ, Retain), a nonprofit designed to create an environment that allows students to network with Information Technology (IT) business professionals.
“Getting an internship does take some doing in that it is a competitive pool from which employers get to pick,” said Phil Marchal, LHS computer programming/web design teacher and INTERalliance sponsor. “Students apply, submit a resume, and go through an interview process by the business.”
Graduating senior Josh Reichman worked for Xavier University, graduating senior Emily Rasmussen interned at P&G (click here to watch Rasmussen discuss her involvement with INTERalliance on Local 12’s Newsmakers), and graduating senior Devin Lally spent the summer at both INTERalliance and Kroger. Rising senior Hannah Matuszak spent her summer internship at KnowledgeWorks as part of the communication team working with people who specialize in web design, public relations and writing.
The Loveland City School District caught up with Matuszak before the start of her senior year for a little Q&A about the experience:
Loveland City School District (LCSD): What did you learn performing the communication functions in a professional work environment?
Hannah Matuszak (HM): One of the biggest lessons I learned in the course of my internship was how much attention to detail every piece of a communications job requires. Whether I was writing social media posts, editing the company’s website, or creating graphics for email newsletters, I had to pay close attention to what message I was trying to convey and how I could accomplish this in the clearest, most concise manner. I also learned that communications involves a lot of team effort, especially when it comes to getting help from other team members when you need someone to edit your writing or give suggestions for a design. Similarly, working in the communications department showed me how every aspect of a company is connected, and you have to be willing to reach out to people you might not know and be ready to learn new things.
LCSD: What was your favorite part?
HM: My favorite part of the internship was creating digital designs for posters that were displayed at an office team-building retreat. I love combining my creativity with the more logical, analytical side of technology, so this was the perfect project for me, especially since I was working within very loose guidelines and had a lot of artistic freedom. Also, it was amazing to see the tangible results of my work when the enormous posters came back from being printed.
LCSD: How did your studies at Loveland prepare you for this challenge?
HM: Loveland High School has a great selection of technology-based classes, and so far, I’ve taken Web Design I and II and Programming I. Web Design taught me a lot about creating images in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, which was one of my main tasks during my internship. Also, I got the opportunity to edit parts of KnowledgeWorks’ website and assist with the transition to a new website design, which I already had experience with thanks to what I learned in class over the past three years.
LCSD: What would you say to peers at LHS to encourage them to seek out an opportunity like this?
HM: I think that internships can be a very useful tool for students who are starting to think about college and careers but don’t necessarily know what they’re planning on doing with their lives quite yet. Even if you are reasonably sure about the career field you plan on going into, an internship can help you ensure that you understand what a day in the workplace would really be like and figure out whether or not the career is a good fit for you. Also, don’t be intimidated by entering a professional workplace – everyone I met during my internship experience was friendly, kind, and willing to teach me anything I might be interested in learning.
Photo caption: Loveland High School Student Hannah Matuszak spent her summer interning at KnowledgeWorks.