By Logan Heger

As a college freshman, I have had some time to look back on my time in high school. One of my favorite moments was my senior year obtaining a professional internship. The process to obtain this internship was full of roadblocks, today I would like to share how I got the internship and why it was so important.

Going into freshmen year at West Fargo High School I chose the STEM pathway program where I was promised a semester internship my senior year. By the time senior year rolled around, I was told that the program no longer existed. I refused to take that as an answer, I spent the next week chasing down every teacher and counselor who could help. After being told over and over that the program no longer existed or they knew nothing about it, I found my freshman biology teacher who still had the certification to grant my internship. After another week of back and forth between my counselor, career counselor, and biology teacher I was finally granted permission to get an internship.

Now came the next big struggle, finding a company that was looking for an intern. As a student who was involved in many things and interested in general business, I kept my options very open. I assumed this process was going to be simple. For the next two months, I frequently visited my career counselor who could not find an opportunity for me. Again, I was persistent and refused to take no for an answer. Eventually, I found that my school did not have the connections or the methods to find an opportunity for me. I was forced to find my own opportunity which came through a friend whose dad was nice enough to provide job shadow and work experience.

Why was this internship so important to me?

As a high school senior, I felt the pressure that many others feel to find a college, pick a degree, and spend thousands of dollars without knowing if the classes you are attending or the degree you are pursuing is what you really want to do. Without the internship, I most likely would still be undecided trying to find where I fit. The internship provided me with work experience in fields that I was interested in pursuing. Watching day-to-day activities and learning about what people did opened my eyes to new career opportunities to explore. Watching how managers of different departments operated and led teams inspired an interest in management while experiencing the operations of a marketing team solidified my interest in marketing. I took this experience to help narrow down my college and program search to fields I was truly interested in.

Today I am studying marketing and management with a minor in entrepreneurship. I am also working with Golden Path on a mission to eliminate the problems I faced. Employers have the opportunity to share careers, job opportunities, job shadow experience, and more. While students now have a platform to learn and try new opportunities in fields that interest them.