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Celebrating National Internship Awareness Month

Catherine Lindquist

04.04.2022

Did you know that April is National Internship Awareness Month? With this, we want to take a moment to recognize BVT, a local vocational high school, who for the past 6 years, has been placing their seniors in a co-op program with our marketing department. BVT’s learning model is centered on the integration of rigorous academics and career technical learning to promote the skill set necessary for career advancement and longevity in the 21st century.

Kim Elder, BVT Career Education Data Specialist, says, “BVT utilizes the Co-op program as another tool for student hands on learning. Placing the students out in the community with local employers gives them the opportunity to continue their learning with different industry professionals and gives them the advantage of starting their career early”.  And the program is making a difference for their students – both in preparing them for the world of work and making connections between what they learn in the classroom and the working environment. “The co-op positions give students the experience of working as professionals in the field, far more than they can get from the classroom,” says Monique McCabe, who is not only a BVT alumni, but is also in her 9th year as Design & Visual Communications Instructor. “The experience reinforces what we teach them about working with clients, how to design or produce media products for a specific target audience, not just what appeals to them personally”.

Allowing students to get the experience of the work force while still being a student provides them opportunities that students in tradition high schools do not have. In some cases, it gives the student a chance to “try on the career”. There are students who are not sure what career path they want to take or not sure if higher education is their next step or if going into their vocational field is their next step. With the co-op program, interns get the chance to go work in the field and see if that industry is really for them and all before graduating high school.

“The ultimate goal of the program is always for the student and employer to have a mutually pleasant and meaningful experience,” explains Elder. We could not agree more. Our co-ops have worked on an array of projects and marketing assets from video creation and deployment to advertisement creatives, to tradeshow graphics, and even as far as photography used on the cover of industry related publications. McCabe adds, “Our partnership with Dynisco has not only given our students opportunities but given us [teachers] some direction for what our students should be learning in the classroom. A few years ago, we were asked to collaborate on a project with Dynisco in which our students would produce a training video about some of their plastic extrusion equipment. We saw the value of being able to produce this type of video and developed a curriculum unit specific to giving the students the knowledge and experience to produce an Instructional Video. We first implemented it with our senior class, but then this year made the decision to move it to junior year to better prepare them for co-op opportunities”. 

And prepare it did—over the last 2 years, BVT co-ops have created over 16 videos used by customers and salespeople in the field (to name just a few things they have accomplished).  “Watching these young professionals flourish and thrive as co-ops is so rewarding,” says Catherine Lindquist, Global Marketing Communications Manager with Dynisco. “The work they are doing as students is work that thousands will see, touch, and come to rely on. As a 17/18-year-old that is exciting to experience.  We love being a part of this joint effort to help produce tomorrow’s great talent”. 

 

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