The Class of 2015 recently completed their four-week senior internships in amazing fashion. The largest senior class in Prep’s history – sixty-seven young men and women – sought out incredibly diverse opportunities. We had students travel to three continents: Asia, Africa, and South America (above: Katie Broyles ’15 with her Quechua class in the high Andes village of Pisac, Peru). We also had students in California, Chicago, and New York City, however the vast majority of internships are right here in Santa Fe. Internship sites included restaurants, retail stores, hospitals and clinics, schools, architecture firms, non-profits, art galleries, investment management companies, veterinary clinics, and so much more. Please click here for a complete list>> Internship List 2015
The Senior Internship Program, or SIP as it is most commonly known, began with the Class of 2002 as a way to offer students a real-world experience and to combat “senioritis.” The original program included an alternative senior seminar option. Over time interest in the seminars waned, which led to their eventual phasing out. The seniors embrace SIP even if with a little trepidation at first. They are after all designing their very own unique conclusion to high school. The process begins in the fall when students start making a list of internship options. During the winter, they finalize their plans, acquiring the necessary approval from their mentors, site supervisors, and SIP Director Kendel Fesenmyer. At the end of April, they embark all over the world, as it sometimes turns out, for their four-week mentored internships.
SIP is a transformational opportunity. Senior fall is tough, and it’s hard for the students to imagine their last four weeks of high school, yet that is what we ask them to do early on in the school year. As they learn from many unreturned emails and phone calls, setting up an internship does not always come easily. It takes a lot of polite persistence. Even before they begin reaching out to people though, the seniors first need to decide what it is they want to do, and this may actually be the hardest part. When you’re told you can do anything, it’s ironically sometimes hard to figure out that one thing you really want to do and then make it happen. But they do it, and the experience from beginning to end is truly empowering.
In mid-May the seniors return to campus and submit journals chronicling their internships. For many the experience is profound. Some students come away knowing exactly what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Really! Others determine that what they thought they definitively wanted to do is not the right fit after all. As evidenced in their journals, the seniors embody the qualities we hope for in young people: curiosity, passion, humor, responsibility, resilience, humility, compassion, and a sharp intellect. The power of possibility has fully ignited every one of them. They are prepared. Ready for anything.