Hello, everyone! I wanted to write about work-based learning to inform other students about why taking work-based learning opportunities can make them more well-rounded as a student. As a student who has been impacted by having the opportunity to do an internship in high school, I would say that if you care about your future and education, that you should take advantage of it–the internships I’ve done helped me understand how things are different in class and outside of it

My internship at University Hospital last year made me more interested in work-based learning. It allowed me to gain different knowledge about what it’s like to work in a hospital and how much work different departments have to go through. My first internship was where I gained the motivation and knowledge of the importance of work-based learning, both for myself and other high school students. 

My goal for this blog is going to be to focus on the experiences I had at my internship last year and at my current internship at Schools That Can Newark. Both have educated me on career skills, and the things I have learned from both internships have helped determine my career course. This blog will mostly be based on work-based learning and how that has helped me, as a student, gain exposure to the real world, and firsthand knowledge about what it’s like in these fields. Work-based learning experiences can be an advantage to high school students, and it can lead them into careers and different interests they did not know they had in them.

What is work-based learning and how does it impact high school students? 

Work-based learning provides students with real-life experiences, like an internship, and helps them apply what they learned to their academic skills. Work-based learning experiences can be a great way to shape the way high schoolers work and learn about things. They get to see and learn different things than they normally do in class, which would allow them to build interest and help them to want to learn more about that thing–they are hooked because of the experience that they are getting, because high schoolers would rather experience what they are being taught, rather than sit in class every day throughout the school year. 

According to research by Work-Based Learning (WBL) Tool Kit, work-based learning makes your application for academics stand out and improves your technical and employability skills in a work setting. Work-based learning also allows you to work with people that are older and you can assist your supervisors with tasks that allow you to gain experience that would further benefit you in the future, like going into college. 

All high school students should partake in some kind of work-based learning because  it makes their resume look better. Another main reason would be to improve their motivation in whatever they are interested in, because motivation is the key to so many things. With work-based learning, high school students will go into the real-world looking confident.

What advantages do high school students have and how can that lead them into their future careers? 

High schoolers with real-life experience on what it’s like to work in what they are interested in makes them wiser and allows them to be real with themselves. This opens them to a lot of other options through gaining the real-life experience that they are getting with internships. 

Without work-based learning, schools are limiting students, especially seniors that supposedly need to make their decisions about what they want to major in when they go to college, which is the downside of not having work-based learning being used. Work-based learning can help students get ready for college by giving that student some experience on what it’s like to be in the field that they are interested in. If the student isn’t interested in anything, like a lot of people are, it gives them some kind of idea of what they want to go into. It broadens their horizons. 

Being exposed to potential majors or fields matters because not everyone is suitable for all majors or fields, so getting this experience allows students to have some kind of idea of what majors they should go into and some they shouldn’t, which prepares students to choose or have an idea of what path they want to go into. Work-based learning is like a bottle opener for highschool students. It opens them up to a lot of different things and experiences that they did not know about.

How has work-based learning been for me, and how have they changed who I am? 

Without work-based learning, I don’t know what or who I would be. With work-based learning, like internships being offered at my school, I learned what it was like to work at a hospital and with an organization that I am currently working with, Schools That Can.

These two internships have brought out different parts of me and interests that I didn’t know I had. The passion for working with University Hospital allowed me to gain interest in studying Biology when I graduate and move on to college next year. with Schools That Can, even though I have only been an intern for 2-3 months now, I have started to consider humanitarian work. Having these supervisors and experiences from things like internships and work-based learning offers allows students the opportunity to find out different things about themselves. As a high school student, I would say to other students that you need to take advantage of their resources and when offered something like an internship, you should take it, because it builds your interest and shows you a different side of yourself.