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INVESTING IN THE FUTURE

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High School Internship Comes Full Circle for WC Alum

Like many high school seniors, Ike Meyers (WC ’10) did not have a specific career path picked out as he began his final year of high school. At that time, WC had a newly developed program, Internship Academy, for students to gain real-world work experience. Through Internship Academy, Meyers had the opportunity to explore his interest in the business field through interning with the Central Ohio Financial Management Group. One college degree, two jobs, and fourteen years later, Meyers is now a financial planner with the very company with which he interned as a high school senior.

Pictured left to right: Doug Meyers (WC ’81), Ike Meyers (WC ’10), and Dan Singleton (WC ’81)

Internship Academy, now under the direction of WC business teacher Nick Johnson, continues to grow and expand. This year’s junior class has already submitted 28 applications to take part in the program next school year. Current capacity for the program is only 10-12 students because of the demands of the program and the difficulty of finding dozens of placements for the students, but Johnson hopes to make it possible for more students to be involved.

It is no wonder why so many students are eager to be involved; its impact is unmistakable. Through this program, students like Meyers are able to build their professional skills (interviewing, interpersonal interactions, and more), gain confidence, explore careers fields of interest to them, and build relationships with professionals and companies. But the benefits of internship are not limited to the interns themselves—mentors report value added to their businesses through WC’s Internship Academy.

Tim Blecke, owner of Dublin Family Physical Therapy, recently mentored WC senior Jake Thompson. According to Blecke, “Internships are a symbiotic relationship that can be highly beneficial to both parties. It is extremely important for us as a business community to assist in the guidance of these young men and women as they enter a changing phase of their life.” In the medical field specifically, Blecke also explained that there is an additional benefit to internships: “When mentoring students, I tend to explain conditions in more detail, so there is secondary gain for the patients as they tend to receive even more knowledge about their condition.”

Director of Sales and Staffing at Speer Mechanical Kim Hochstetler recently mentored WC senior J.R. Bowers and also speaks to the mutual benefit of internship opportunities. She explains, “Welcoming an intern provides enormous training opportunities and helps prepare students who may one day be employees. Interns are tech-savvy, eager to learn, trainable, and bring a fresh perspective to the office.” Ike Meyers echoes this sentiment, “Interns bring a lot of insight to a company and companies have much to learn from their fresh perspective…and it gives companies an opportunity to invest in the next generation.”

Whether it’s in the field of physical therapy, sales, financial planning, or a completely different career realm, Internship Academy will continue to provide incredible benefit to all parties involved, students and mentors alike. If you are interested in hosting at WC student as an intern at your workplace or would like to find out more about Internship Academy, connect with Nick Johnson to learn more.

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