Job Shadowing and Internships Launch Careers

By Lauren Morency DePhillips
Lauren Morency DePhillips
Lauren Morency DePhillips
February 14, 2014 Updated: February 13, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore.—An aspiring doctor and a young art director credit school-sponsored internship and job shadowing programs with starting their career paths.

Abby Trombley wasn’t feeling challenged in school.

So with her parents’ help the high school sophomore enrolled in classes at the University of Vermont and developed a job shadow with an orthopedic surgeon.

“This made such a monumental difference in me,” said Trombley.

Brice Anderson began his career at SuperGenius, a game art studio in Portland, Ore., over five years ago as an unpaid intern. Shortly after he graduated from the Art Institute of Portland he was hired as a full time staff member.

Anderson connected with his employer during his senior year through the school’s career adviser, who helped several students find internships. He said these internships are essential to future employment.

“In my field industry experience is everything, so when you work in the field the experience you gain is far more than what you get in school, and you get titles under your belt. It’s like a résumé of experience,” said Anderson.

Trombley will graduate from high school early, and wants to be a surgeon. This is in part due to a legislative initiative in Vermont. Currently, about half of the schools in Vermont offer some type of personalized learning, and state education officials said almost 1,300 students take or have taken college courses thanks to dual enrollment in the 2013–2014 academic year.

Dual enrollment is up about 30 percent, from 789 in 2012–2013; however, many students remain unaware of such opportunities. Trombley said, “I think that many more students would take advantage of these opportunities if they knew they were available.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report