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2021 Internship Academy students demonstrate exceptional maturity as they actively pursue areas of interest

Professor and author Steve Garber, in his book Visions of Vocation: Common Grace for the Common Good, explains the notion of “vocation” in this way: “Vocation is when we come to know the world in all its joy and pain and still love it. Vocation is following our calling to seek the welfare of the world we live in.” One of the chief aims of a Worthington Christian education is to help students see work as vocation, an expression of God’s image in people. Equipping students to personally know the God who created them and encouraging them to discover the unique gifts and passions He has given each of them moves them toward the vision of work as vocation. This happens at all levels and across WC’s curriculum, but one of the most practical opportunities have for vocational exploration is the Upper School’s longstanding Internship Academy. This experience has a beautiful way of helping students discover and deepen their areas of interest.

For over a decade now, a new group of WC seniors each year has had the opportunity to spend part of each school day interning in a career field that pertains to their interests. Since 2018, WC business teacher Nick Johnson has overseen the continued success of this hands-on, real-world opportunity for students. One of the biggest challenges in overseeing this very successful program is securing the right quantity and quality of field placements—creating connections in the marketplace with those willing to provide career mentorship. For the past two school years, COVID has amplified this challenge for Johnson as he seeks to match students with relevant placements. Yet Johnson explains that this year’s batch of Internship Academy participants has demonstrated impressive maturity and agency, with many of the students taking ownership of the experience and securing placements within their area of interest.

Caleb Denorme, Olivia Fife, and Luke Snedecor are WC seniors interested in pursuing careers in the sports industry. When they applied for Internship Academy and began pursuing placements, Johnson explains, “Having three students who were interested in the sports industry in different capacities was very challenging, but the work these three students put in during their sophomore and junior years really helped me find a placement.”

In his time at WC, Denorme has taken part in the school’s robust broadcasting program during sports events. With this experience, he earned his internship this year learning under the director of broadcasting at Otterbein University. He describes his internship as “eye-opening.” Fife explains that she has always been interested in sports marketing. She took WC’s Sports Marketing class as a junior, which helped to prepare her for her second internship placement this year at Press Pros Magazine, a publication that covers high school and college-level sports in Dayton and Columbus. She has been entrusted with the tasking of establishing and growing Press Pros’ social media presence. In her words, “Having this internship helped me realize a more specific field that I am considering pursuing—the digital media side of the sports world.” Snedecor has had a longstanding interest in graphic design. For the past two and a half years, he has operated his own graphic design business. His business’s Instagram page currently has over 11,000 followers. In an effort to open doors for an internship placement for Snedecor, Johnson presented some of his graphic design work to The Ohio State University’s athletics department. Impressed with his work, Snedecor was offered an internship with the department. Some of his work has even been featured on OSU’s social media accounts this semester. Snedecor calls this placement “a dream come true.” In his words, “Through this internship class, I have a much better understanding of what it truly takes to become a part of the field I aspire to and I am so thankful for it.”

Like Denorme, Fife, and Snedecor, Internship Academy has helped solidify the dreams of fellow interns Danner Brown, Lucas Letizia, Olivia Scholl, Jaeda Tagoe.

Brown and Tagoe share an interest in studying medicine. Brown has spent this semester shadowing local pediatrician Dr. Matthew White. She explains, “My internship has given me a glimpse of what the daily routine of a pediatrician looks like…this experience has solidified my passion and calling for the field of medicine.” Tagoe is working as a research assistant to Kelly Mikhail at OSU, conducting laboratory work alongside graduate students. In her words, “This opportunity has helped me gain so much experience in and around an academic lab.” This experience will be invaluable to her as she studies medicine in college.

Lucas Letizia’s family owns a logistics company for which he has always wanted to work. Internship Academy has allowed him the chance to see what working in business is like in the “real world.” He explains how much he has learned about being a strong teammate and a better leader. Through Internship Academy, he says, “I learned that logistics and business administration is my calling.”

Prior to the beginning of her senior year, Olivie Scholl planned to study political science and entrepreneurship after graduation, but she explains, “I had no idea what I really wanted to do with that degree.” This semester, she has had the opportunity to intern at the Ohio State Senate, which has proven to be “such a blessing and an incredible experience.” She has learned about the different positions available in working with the Senate, such as fellows and aids. She now feels that this is the path she wants to take in the future.

Senior Rebekah Shively has had a job as a sterilization technician and lab assistant at an orthodontic office since she was a sophomore. During her junior year, she began making plans to pursue a pre-dentistry program in the future. The more she considered this option, though, she felt that her passion for history exceeded her interest in the dental field. This semester, she has shadowed two WC history teachers and served as an intern at the Ohio History Connection. In her work at the Ohio History Connection, she has researched objects to create educational activity carts and participated as a historical interpreter for their special events. Shively’s reflection on her Internship Academy reflects the heart the program and one of WC’s hopes for every student, “This experience has made me excited to see what God has planned for me in the future.”

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