Summer Internships


Get ready, your junior year will be one of the busiest times of your  high school career, but a little planning ahead can save a lot of stress.

The beginning of the second semester of your junior year is typically the time to start thinking about summer internships, but like so many things this school year, COVID-19 is creating a lot of uncertainty.  

Before the pandemic, students would typically spend 40 hours of their summer in an internship, or 80 hours in a fellowship, learning about their chosen career path.  Administrators in the Hutchison Leads program work to pair students with mentors or businesses in Memphis and around the nation to provide girls with invaluable insight and firsthand experience .  The school’s vast network of alumnae and supporters offer students opportunities and experiences they might not see otherwise have like on-site work and meetings with mentors. 

Hutchison Director of College Counseling, Lauren Colpitts says summer internships will look a little different this year, “Because of COVID-19, the program has pivoted to a virtual format. And, while it’s not ideal, it is still incredibly beneficial.”

Hutchison Director of Signature Programs, Trey Wilson is also working to place students in summer mentorships.  These mentorships consist of four 30 minute virtual sessions with a mentor.  Students research and prepare questions for their mentor, and then use that research to prepare a school presentation for the fall.   

Mrs. Colpitts says the key to a successful placement is to be flexible, “ Start planning now and keep an open mind. Talk to Mr. Wilson, Ms. Wichman, and Ms. Boswell. Pay attention to the emails about upcoming internship meetings. Use your network! Talk to your family members, your college counselor, etc.”

Some of the most requested placements are in the field of healthcare, but no matter your field of interest, Mrs. Colpitts says it’s important to keep an open mind, “It’s all about managing expectations. While students will not be making coffee runs, like scenes from a movie, not every aspect of a career is glamorous. There is paperwork that needs to be completed and some days will just be a normal day at the office.”

   Hutchison internships and fellowships offer even more than just the practical value and confidence that comes with a summer internship according to Mrs. Colpitts, “Another aspect of the Hutchison internship experience is presenting to panelists, typically a group of faculty and administrators.  We are always so impressed with each student’s presentation. The reflection piece of the internship is as valuable as the internship itself. Thinking about how this experience impacted a student, how did she grow?  What did she learn?  What does she still want to learn?”

The summer programs are important because of the experience and professional exposure they give students.  Mrs. Colpitts says internships can be used to make sure students are on the right career path for their own individual needs, “It’s as important to know what you don’t like as it is to know what you do like.  But, also keep in mind that your likes and interests will change, so developing skills that will be valuable for any profession is key.”  

If you are having a hard time deciding which summer program is right for you, just focus on getting as much experience as possible, no matter the field, “As it relates to the college application process, often colleges ask about your experiences and their meaning. Any time you can use concrete examples, the better. It makes the writing so much more authentic.”

For More Information, Please contact Trey Wilson, Signature Programs Director, at [email protected]