Senior Internship Program
Reinforcing Gunston's commitment to experiential learning, Senior Internship is a program that lasts approximately two weeks at the end of the senior year. Seniors who meet established criteria have the opportunity to work in an area of interest to them in lieu of taking final examinations. Eligible students work with the Assistant Head of School, their advisors, and their parents to design a meaningful internship experience. Internships are a contractual relationship whereby the students agree to volunteer their time in exchange for training in a field of interest. At the end of the two-week period, the internship supervisor completes an evaluation of the student, which becomes a part of the student's permanent record. Students participating in the program have arranged internships in hospitals, schools, soup kitchens, banks, government offices, environmental agencies, law offices, private businesses, television and radio stations, among a myriad of other placements. While at work, students experience firsthand the importance of being prompt, meeting deadlines, interacting with the public, and following through with tasks. The experience for some affirms what they believe they have always wanted to do, and for others it causes them to reevaluate their plans. Students return from their internships feeling both self-assured and excited for the graduation ceremonies.
Each year the seniors have an exciting opportunity to design a meaningful internship program for themselves. In the past students have worked in a myriad of locales including the Smithsonian, government offices, private and public schools, hospitals, state agencies, private businesses, newspaper offices, and radio stations. The Senior Internship Program gives students the chance to explore areas of work that might be of great interest to them. Those who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to participate in the program and to design an interesting and exciting experience for themselves. Details of the program are outlined below.
Eligible seniors have the option of doing an internship from the end of May through the beginning of June. A senior participating in the program must work a minimum of five hours daily for the duration of the internship. The internship must take place each of the scheduled days. Students may not work for a family member or family business and are not to be reimbursed for their services.
Seniors who do not meet the eligibility requirements or who choose not to participate attend classes and take the scheduled final examinations.
Seniors who want to participate in the internships program must submit a proposal via Google Drive to the Assistant Head of School. If a student does not submit a proposal, it will be assumed that he/she does not wish to participate in the program and intends to follow the regular academic schedule and participate in semester final examinations.
A copy of each student’s proposal is shared with the student’s advisor. The proposal must be typed and include the following:
- A full description of the internship program outlining the objectives, goals, and expected outcomes. (This portion of the proposal should be approximately one page.)
- The name and address of the organization where the internship will be performed.
- The name and the email address of the student’s immediate supervisor.
- Signatures of the senior and the parents.
Students who submit a proposal will have an informal interview with the Assistant Head. The interview will be used to indicate the senior’s sense of purpose and commitment to the program. If a student’s proposal is declined or is in need of refining, the senior will have a period of one week to address identified concerns and to submit either a new or a revised proposal and have a second interview.
Once a senior’s proposal has been accepted the senior will remain eligible provided that he/she
- will have met all required course credits for graduation
- has a cumulative average of 73 or above in major academic subjects for the year with no grades of F or N in the final quarter.
- has completed the Community Service requirement for graduation, receives no disciplinary censure from the school for violating the Responsibilities of the Community.