At my high school, there is an abundance of opportunities for students beyond academics ranging from sports, to debate, and yes, even exploring your dream occupation during the school day.

The last option happens through the school-to-work class. This class is unique in that not everyone who schedules it is accepted. Students must have a teacher recommendation and fill out an application form. From there, a panel decides who gets to be in the class based on responsibility, interests, and how they present themselves.

Students are then either accepted into the first half of the class, the second half, or both. The initial half covers how to prepare for the working world, which includes everything from writing resumes and cover letters to how to dress and prepare for an interview. The second half of the class offers students the opportunity to go out into the world of work through an internship at a local company.

Working in the Real World

Fortunately, I was accepted into both! After getting prepared for how to get a job/internship and going over the daily “First Five” (which is when students and the teacher take time at the beginning of each class period to discuss what can go wrong and how to deal with unfortunate circumstances in the workplace), students get to start narrowing down where they want to put their newfound knowledge to the test.

There is quite a variety of internships available through the program. In my case, I knew I wanted to enter the business world, and by completing the assessments in Kuder Navigator®, I had narrowed my focus down to marketing due to my interest in writing and the creative aspect that it offers.

Why I Chose Kuder

Once I figured out what I wanted to do, I received a list of businesses, both for-profit and nonprofit, from which I could choose. As a longtime School-to-Work Program partner, Kuder was on the list.

I decided to pursue an internship at Kuder based on how much I would be able to do at the company, the fact that I already knew of the company and had used its products, and its proximity to my home and school.

The Interview

Once I decided that I wanted an internship at Kuder, I had to schedule an interview. When the day arrived, after getting dressed according to the requirements I had learned in class (neutral colors, conservative dress, and having a statement piece that helps you stand out) I was ready for my interview. I tried to present myself as calm and confident as I stepped in the door and was greeted.

As soon as I met my interviewers I felt more relaxed and let my guard down a bit, which I know is necessary in order to appear relatable in an interview. Once it was over and I had left, I crossed my fingers that they would like me and accept me into the Kuder family. The following week I received an acceptance letter and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

My First Day

When I arrived on my first day I was welcomed and introduced to all of the employees. I began the new employee orientation program to learn about the company, its products and services, policies and procedures, and what my job tasks would include in the marketing department.

In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing more experiences and insights about my internship.

This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog October 31, 2014