Senior Aspyn Johnson considered pursuing a career in hairstyling after high school. After her first semester internship with one, she realized it wasn’t for her.
This is exactly why Gering High School implemented the work-based learning program into this year’s schedule. Not only does it help students decide what they want to do after high school, but it can help them know what they don’t want to do.
“I feel like it was a good idea for them (GHS) to do, because it also gets kids out in the community, learning what they want to do,” she said. “(If) that’s what you want to do for the rest of your life, you can try it out now, but if you don’t like it there, you don’t have to waste a ton of money going to college for that and then you don’t want to do that.”
After she decided that hairstyling wasn’t for her, she took up another work-based learning internship at Nebraska Title Company for the spring semester. Here, her job mainly consists of filing — both physically and digitally.
“Most internships are the grunt work and kind of just learning the backgrounds and getting your feet wet and see if it pushes you anywhere further,” office manager, searcher, and examiner Brandon Harder said. Harder also acts as Johnson’s boss.
While Johnson, who plans to attend Wayne State College, still isn’t sure what she plans to major in, she said that at the very least, her internship at Nebraska Title Company helped her with some other life lessons, like what kind of paperwork she would have to do to buy a house.
She said she has been grateful for the opportunities the new work-based learning program provided her this year, and she hopes that it will continue despite the challenges the new schedule might bring.
“Especially with them changing the block scheduling … I hope that they still allow kids to do that,” she said. “…if they go to the eight (period) schedule, which I think that they’re doing, it’s probably going to be really hard for kids to (do an internship) unless they allow them to have a two-period just for this.”
Harder said he thinks the program is a great opportunity for students and businesses as well. With it being Nebraska Title Company’s first time hosting an intern, it’s also been a learning experience for them.
“(We’re) just getting our feet wet, I guess—kind of seeing what we can maybe do different. From a corporate standpoint, I just kind of got permission, and so I’ve just seen how we go and then if we can evolve it further,” he said. “… I just hope they (GHS) can keep doing it, I mean, whether we’re involved or not, just get the kids out there.”