The Internship: Students at CHS begin to correlate electives they take with internships in order to boost their success in fields of interest

Marissa Ryan

After taking the required core classes, students at CHS have many opportunities to choose elective courses to take along with those classes, allowing them to incorporate creativity in their schedule. 

Students like sophomore Meredith Ho take that opportunity one step further.

Ho, a photography student and intern for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Teen Art’s Council (TAC), said she believes TAC allows her to integrate arts and photography in both her school life and out-of-school environment.

Ho said she finds that both digital photography and her internship offer different opportunities in her subject of interest.

Ho said, “Being involved with TAC really benefits my social and collaborative abilities; whereas, the Digital Photography class at CHS is more independent projects. In the future, I think both of those things are really important when it comes to a workplace.”

Sophomore Elissa Hage has chosen a similar path to Ho’s. Hage takes principles of biomedical science, a Project Lead the Way course, and also volunteers at Carmel Methodist Hospital.

Hage said, “The volunteer work helps me put what I learn in class to the hospital and identify the real-world experience versus the classroom experience. Making those connections (allows me) to realize what it actually entails to be a doctor and what you have to be able to do.”

Melinda Stephan, college and career programing and resources coordinator, supports the correlation of internships and jobs with electives and other classes.

“You can have (an elective or job separately) and they are good, but combining them together is the ideal situation because you really do have the opportunity to test what you learn in the classroom,” Stephan said. “Sometimes you find that what you learn in the real world doesn’t exactly match up with what you learn in the classroom.”

Ho said her elective makes her work seem more applicable to the world and every day life.

“We often do peer edits where we give and get advice on how to improve our photography, which is something I don’t normally get on TAC,” Ho said. “I also get opportunities to have my art shown at school and to compete in the Scholastic Art Awards, (which is) another thing I wouldn’t get at TAC. Essentially, my elective is more based on my work versus TAC, (which) is based on the council’s collaborative work.”

Hage said she feels having the internship puts her a step ahead of others.

“Everyone can take the class but not a lot of people can go to the hospital and volunteer and get (a) hands-on (experience),” she said.

Stephan said, “Involvement in both settings bolsters your confidence, but also lends some credibility. In a classroom there are skills you can develop and use…like persistence, collaboration, punctuality, problem-solving and communications. People refer to them as ‘employability skills,’ things that no matter your experience, you are developing skills that you can use anywhere.”

Ho said, “Although I haven’t decided if I want photography as a profession in my future, I definitely think being a part of this council benefits my collaborative abilities. It will definitely not be time wasted in the future as I have learned not only a lot about art but (also a lot about) people.”

Hage, however, said her electives have made her sure of her future.

“Shadowing pushed me into wanting to go even more into surgery as well as the medical class that I’m taking,” she said. “The more I take (medical classes), the more I want to become a doctor and fully engage myself in the medical field to the highest extent.”