School districts across the Inland Empire and High Desert have created opportunities for college students to intern in various departments at various school sites to gain valuable work experience in managerial positions.
School districts such as Hesperia Unified School District and San Bernardino City Unified School District are promoting opportunities for local college students to participate in internships. Many California State University, San Bernardino, students take part in having an internship experience during their time at CSUSB and can put it on their resume for their future endeavors.
Justina McNeal is a senior at CSUSB and has attended CSUSB since the Fall semester of 2019. She will graduate this Spring in 2023. She is majoring in Communication Studies, Relational, and Organizational Communication and has been a part of the University Honors Program since her freshman year of college.
McNeal decided to intern during her last semester at CSUSB to kickstart her post-college professional career. She is currently an intern with the Hesperia Unified School District.
“My internship is treated like a real life job,” said McNeal.
McNeal is currently interning at Sultana High School, her alma mater. She works 15 hours per week and her internship is unpaid.
“My main job through this internship is to make announcements through social media to keep the high school updated on information that is happening within the time of the internship,” said McNeal.
Through her social media job, McNeal feels that she keeps Sultana High School and Hesperia Unified School District informed.
McNeal’s internship is connected to a communications studies course and allows her to gain credits for her four-unit class.
“I have been doing my internship since the beginning of the school year in 2022, but for my course, I have only been recording it since the start of January,” said McNeal.
Her internship also provides her with an advisor in addition to her advisor through the CSUSB course that she reports to.
McNeal’s course is virtual, meaning she does not have to have a physical presence on campus. Yet, she stated that she is still very busy as she juggles attending her internship as well as being a full-time student at CSUSB.
“I visit my site three times a week but I also work remotely for the social media aspect of my internship,” said McNeal.
College courses help prepare students for careers and internships help students to gain the experience needed.
McNeal stated that college courses at CSUSB have helped her tremendously as she has “learned how to communicate with different personnel.” She has gained valuable knowledge to carry with her into her internship process.
“The way that I talk with the staff is different from the way that I talk with the students and I have to be ready to code switch at any time,” said McNeal.
This is a very important aspect of gaining professional experience. This will help prepare her for her post-internship job.
Although college is typically a stressful time for many students, internships can help solidify if that is a specific career path made for you.
“I can definitely see myself working at a school district, specifically the one that I’m already in within the future,” said McNeal. She believes her internship could be a lifelong journey.
McNeal’s advice to future interns is to “have fun with it and make connections!”
Other local school districts, such as San Bernardino City Unified School District, have paid college intern positions. Within SBCUSD there is an array of departments or school sites where interns work at.
Nathan Banuelos, a CSUSB graduating senior, is a current college student intern for the Human Resources department at SBCUSD. He has been interning since he was in high school and transferred over as a college intern once he enrolled at CSUSB. He will be graduating from CSUSB with a concentration in Human Resource Management.
Banuelos stated that he “believes this internship definitely allowed [him] in real time to see many of the different management styles.”
Banuelos stated that “internships help develop major confidence and basic skills to enter your desired field with the proper knowledge and expectations of what your future could potentially look like.”
I, myself, Haylie Spargo, have been a college student intern for SBCUSD for four years. I have learned very valuable skills as I am a graduating senior getting ready to embark on my future career.
Through my paid internship, I have been able to balance work life, school life, and personal life.
School districts across the Inland Empire periodically promote available positions and this can be seen through social media, their district website, or by going into their offices. The search process may be tough, but it may also be worth it.
The CSUSB Career Center webpage states that there are several benefits of an internship including “skills employers are seeking and growing as a professional.” There is advice on this page for CSUSB Coyotes who want to learn more.
Whether paid or unpaid, internships can help pave a successful path to a lifelong career.
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