Student Spotlight: Primed and Prepped

Student Spotlight: Primed and Prepped

Anika Shin is a senior at The Priory at St. Andrew's Schools. All seniors complete a career-based internship through the school's Priory in the City (PIC) program. Shin is currently interning in the school's Marketing and Communications department. Shin aspires to be an author and illustrator; and chose this internship to gain experience in writing different types of stories to learn the writing and editing process. What follows is her personal experience in PIC over the past three years.

The Beginning
When I was a PIC sophomore, I delved into figuring out who I was. I took a test that told me my five different strengths. The strengths listed for me were developer, deliberative, intellection, connectedness, and empathy. The assessment also described my strengths and gave me ideas for personal development. One idea, for example, was building relationships with people I considered as "big thinkers." During class, I learned about work etiquette and how to properly write a professional letter and email message. My class spent about ten minutes each class running through example conversations we might have with co-workers and how to shake hands with people correctly. Even if it seemed silly, doing those exercises really helped in the long-run.

Once we somewhat had an idea of what we wanted to do in the future, our class took trips to places in downtown or nearby the school that could match what each student's job might be. For example, there were a few people interested in going into the medical field or police work, so we visited the Honolulu Medical Examiner Office. We were given a tour around the building, and got to see the tools that they used and the places where they kept the people to be examined. These field trips helped to give my class ideas of what our careers may be like.

During my junior year in PIC, I focused on writing my mission statement and creating my resume and cover letter. The cover letter I wrote then didn't have a focus on where I wanted to intern. The mission statements were things we wanted out of ourselves and how we would compose ourselves based on our duties to family, friends, co-workers and others. Due to the fact that we did not know what our internship would be like at that time, my class and I addressed our cover letters to a person or place we thought might be a good fit for us. The resumes included things like volunteer work, extracurricular activities, education, and work experience. My original resume was a bit bare, and I hoped I'd be able to flesh it out in senior year.

When I was younger, I'd always heard people talking about resumes, but really had no idea what they were for or when I would need to write them. When the teachers during freshman year began talking about it, I began to worry. During PIC in junior year, I was able to quiet my fears regarding resumes. I now know that before you interview with a prospective employer, you need to present your resume. Starting this class helped me gain experience for when I start job-hunting.

Final Stretch
The PIC senior year takes everything that was learned in the sophomore and junior years and incorporates it into our internship. Before anyone could do that, however, we had to polish up our cover letters and resumes. Once that was done, it was time to find a possible mentor for the internship. Based on the career we want to pursue, we researched different places on Oʻahu that would be suitable matches for our interests and jobs. Some people had to look up businesses, others found their internships through networking with people they were related to or knew. This was probably the most difficult part of the class.

During internships, each student comes up with a project. This project depends on who the mentor is and what the students are going to do at the internship. We will compile elements to our project and put it onto our design journal, which features pictures of interns at their internship. The program will culminate in a presentation of our internship for our parents and mentors.

This class has provided me with real-world and in-person experience that I may not get from anywhere else. It's like I'm peering through a looking glass to see how the adult world will be. It's not going to be as sheltered as we're used to. You don't really think that you'd need a class like PIC, but I think as I go on into the world outside of The Priory, I'm going to be grateful that I had the opportunity to be exposed things like this. I hope that when I get into the career I want to pursue, I can use what I learned in PIC and flourish.