Why become a mentor?
Our academic interns can bring benefit to your organization through the projects they undertake.
Our academic interns in the past have benefited greatly from the mentorship they have received and the projects they have completed. When situated in an adult workplace environment, students have a chance to reflect on the role of work in their life and in society. Students who complete academic internships are more likely to attend and complete college. Over half of our students will be the first generation in their families to graduate from college.
What is expected of a mentor?
to hold a Bachelor’s Degree or higher (or equivalent professional degree) and share your educational and professional journey with your intern
to provide opportunities for your intern to understand the complexities of your job and complete a project
to share your daily routines with your intern and ensure your intern is actively engaged during the work day
to be available during the course of the internship
to not be related to the intern
to have a physical office location (not work from home, or solely on the road)
to only mentor one intern (we hope that interns will work among adults rather than with other students)
Taking on an Intern
The decision to take on a High Tech High Media Arts intern is a great way to both educate the future workforce and get some help from intelligent and dedicated individuals. Overall, your job as a mentor is to provide an educational and professional environment.
"My mentor was great because he would always check in on me to make sure I was comfortable in the setting. He would try to make me feel at home with the rest of the co-workers. I didn't feel intimidated by them and I always felt like I could ask them questions," says Sendy.
Many students will say that what really made their internship was having a good mentor.
The program revolves around choosing a project or projects for the student to complete over the month-long internship. The project should be something that benefits the organization while teaching the student valuable workplace skills. Choosing the right project is vital for the ideal internship experience. There are a wide range of things your intern could be doing for their project.
Andrea Colchin, who interned at North Park for the Arts, helped plan events for the organization. "I had to help set up, market and organize community art events that North Park for the Arts was in charge of. I made posters and organized spreadsheets." Another intern, Sendy Santamaria, Helped design t-shirt prints. "I made designs for women, because the company had a variety of designs for men but none for women. My goal was to make a feminine design. I screen printed shirts with the design that I had drawn and edited on Adobe Illustrator."
Ask your intern what they feel most confident doing, think about what your company needs done and work from there!