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Supporting the Transition from
School to Career
A new and improved professional internship program returns to FIS
When first entering the workforce, as young adults we quickly become aware of the many challenges, options and decisions we are faced with. Oftentimes we may think, “Why wasn’t I made aware of this sooner?” or “Had I known, I could have prepared for this.” Attempting to solve the gap between instructional years and the professional world is a crucial step toward equipping young adults with the necessary tools and knowledge to confidently overcome these hurdles and thrive in their future careers. Frankfurt International School’s Internship Program supports its High School students as they begin the transition into the professional world.
Internships offer students a unique opportunity to gain practical experience and apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. This experience is invaluable in bridging the gap between theory and practice, providing insights that cannot be obtained solely through classroom instruction. After a hiatus due to COVID-19, Linda Westcott, the FIS Internship Program Coordinator, supported by Upper School Principal John Switzer and Alumni Relations Manager Hilary Polomsky, was able to reintroduce the Internship Program in a new and improved format.
The program was opened to all Grade 11 students (age 16 or above). Once through the application phase and before being placed with a company, students are required to participate in a rigorous three-month training process. To ensure a student arrives at the workplace ready to succeed, participants are engaged in weekend or virtual workshops, conducted by educators and industry leaders. Training sessions range from targeted informational presentations to how to write effective motivational letters and résumés. After a student completes this training, they are ready for placement for a one or two- week summer internship.
The benefits of FIS’s Internship Program are countless and invaluable. Students can develop and refine essential skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management and critical thinking, making them highly sought-after in the job market. These practical experiences contribute significantly to students' overall growth and personal development, equipping them with transferable skills that will make them stand out.
Ms. Westcott shares some stats that confirm the success of the school’s 2022/2023 Internship Program. Of 144 Grade 11 students, 89 registered for the program. Eighty-five of the 89 participants, all created their first résumé. Sixty-four of the 89 (72%) future professionals created their first motivational letter, and 46 students have applied to summer internships. To further improve the initiative, program coordinators are looking to expand its dedicated Career Hub website with volunteer opportunities in and around the Oberursel area,
and with support for students electing to take a gap year from their studies.
Internships are essential in developing strong professional connections, which are critical to long-term career success. Through the program, students can engage with experienced professionals, often from the FIS family and Alumni community, in their chosen field, forging connections and broadening their professional network. Establishing networks of contacts and mentors is an essential asset for students, both during their education and upon entering the workforce. Such contacts can provide guidance and mentorship, and lead to future job opportunities.
Internships are a remarkable opportunity for students to fully immerse themselves in different cultures and broaden their global perspective. When working alongside individuals from diverse backgrounds, students develop a deeper appreciation for cultural differences and boost their intercultural competence. This exposure fosters invaluable qualities such as empathy and a global mindset – both of which are crucial in our interconnected world. Moreover, internships can greatly elevate a student's college or university application by showcasing their commitment, initiative, and eagerness to learn beyond the classroom. Including internship experiences in their applications sets students apart from their peers and significantly increases their chances of being accepted into their top-choice institutions. Thanks to this well-organized learning opportunity, students at FIS can connect with real- world career options and learn fundamental skills that lead to successful future professional choices.
Adriana Ardolino FIS Parent
Student collaboration during one of the weekend Internship Program workshops
 22 FIS World June 2023

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