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When education continues past the school year

Academy of Finance students take on summer long internships.

Megan McAlister
Originally published June 24, 2016

Photo courtesy of The Shingle

Photo courtesy of The Shingle

The school days are dwindling and most think learning has come to a close until the fall. It’s a different story for most members of the Academy of Finance, however, who are spending their time seeking out new opportunities with a summer internship.

The internships are done over the summer of student’s junior or senior year and provide students’ with real workplace experience. Summer internships are a requirement for all members of AOF, and are aimed to be about 120 hours.

Eric Blazevic, occupational education and AOF teacher, and Carol Faust, history and AOF teacher, help students to find these internships or help them turn jobs and sports they already participate in into internships as well. Additionally they assist students with writing resumes and cover pages.

“It’s real work experience, but it’s not what typical teenagers get when it comes to jobs, so they get to see themselves in the adult world,” Blazevic said.  These internships are thought to help students immerse themselves into the reality of the professional workplace, providing them with a great chance to learn how to work with adults. This holds them to the same standard as adults, building integrity.

After interning over the summer, most students feel they take away a greater understanding of the workplace. Senior Peter Windus performed his internship at KMPG as an audit manager last summer and felt that he learned a lot. “I’m very glad I chose the internship that I did . . . I learned a lot of basic office work, like showing up to work on time and interacting with adults everyday. [My internship] provided me with many opportunities, I have kept in touch with my boss” Windus said. He dealt with past audits, performed company reviews, used excel data, passed out mail and filled in for the receptionist on her lunch break.

“With auditing you review lots of different types of companies, so it was really interesting looking at the difference between a for-profit company and non-profit companies and state universities; it gave me a wide range of different business opportunities in the future,” said

The students this year are also working to get their internships such as junior Erika Weber. Weber recently landed her summer internship at K&L Gates, a law firm downtown. She interviewed at the firm along with other AOF students from Chief Sealth and Franklin High School.

Weber will be working from around eight hour days Monday through Thursday all summer long, receiving $13 an hour.“I want to go into business [as a career]and being in that professional atmosphere will definitely be really helpful for me,” Weber said.

Junior Anna Leipertz is another  AOF member who turned one of her favorite activities into an internship. She is occupied with being a camp counselor all summer, so Leipertz found a way to turn it into her internship. She will be spending eight weeks at Camp Sealth. Having gone to camp since she was young, Leipertz feel it’s time for her to become a leader. “[The internships] show us how to get a job and go through the internship process and everything else that goes into it,” Leipertz said .

In addition to these internships, students have to have a journal where they write about that day, noting anything worth remembering. This is important to ensure that the students are actually taking away a greater understanding of what the work place is and how they will fit into it.

To make sure this happens, supervisor Joanne Patrick visits with many students during their workday to make sure they are growing as an AOF member.

After the ending of their internship, the students are left with not only a greater understanding of the working world but they are also left with a mentor. “It gives students a chance to work a lot of hours in the day, which most aren’t used to. Our 120 hour internships are like full time through the whole summer,” Faust said.

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When education continues past the school year