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May 6, 2024

The Intern: A high school junior tackles the business world through internships

Photo / Jim Neuger Boden Terry, a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School, held internships at Mainebiz and the Portland Sea Dogs. She’s pictured at Hadlock Field with Chris Cameron of the Sea Dogs.

There is more than one path to entering a particular career. Many people think the only way into a specific profession is through job opportunities. However, a path that is often overlooked is internships.

Internships provide insight into a business, an opportunity to make connections, a chance to learn about yourself, and so much more. So let’s unravel all the immense benefits of internships.

First,  I’m a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School. This year, I took an Extended Learning Opportunities class. ELOs are hands-on courses that allow students to focus on individual aspirations and skills and connect to the community in a classroom setting.

My goal for the class was to gain an internship for this current school semester. With the help of the ELO coordinator at my school, Lauren Tarantino, I am currently interning at Mainebiz and the Portland Sea Dogs to gain a better understanding of the different parts of the communications field.

While at Mainebiz, I have been learning it’s about the various positions within its business that are vital for the production of the publication. I’ve worked most closely with Alison Nason, the marketing and operations director  and Andrea Tetzlaff, the publisher.

At the Sea Dogs, I spend my time with Chris Cameron, the manager of communications and fan experience. While I’m there, I learn about how they publicize during the off-season and how they prepare for the upcoming season overall.

At both businesses, I have gained so much information that I never would have been able to learn in a classroom environment. I have worked hands-on with so many interesting and knowledgeable people, gaining real insight into the different aspects of communication.

Because of my time at the Sea Dogs, I now know how to make a website and have a better understanding of how they deliver their radio broadcast to the public.

Because of Mainebiz, I now understand the importance of networking and how to write a cohesive article. Beyond these industry-specific skills, I am developing soft skills like critical thinking, time management and active listening.

Engineering internship

Like me, Marta Leary-Forrey is a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School. She pursued an internship at Kelson Marine, where she is working alongside Sam Rickerich, who is a Metocean Engineer. Kelson Marine is an ocean engineering firm in Portland. The firm's mission is to help humans use the ocean for good.  

While at Kelson Marine, spent her time working on mapping ocean data resources for aquaculture and renewable energy. She also got exposure to the world of engineering by reading reports and sitting in on meetings.

She worked with a program called QGSI, which is a mapping software that is used to make online maps easier to comprehend and can be used for scientific research. Through these experiences, she has learned so much about the environmental engineering world, and her internship has also helped her form relationships with many influential people in the engineering community, which will be very beneficial after college since the community is so tight-knit.

 Like me, Marta is learning far more about the world in her internship than she would in a typical classroom. Even if she decides not to pursue marine engineering as a career, through this experience, she has gained skills that will benefit her later on in life. They include insights into how business meetings run, an understanding of how specific software programs work and overall better self-knowledge.

Photo / Jim Neuger
Marta Leary-Forrey, a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School, pursuing an internship at Kelson Marine, where she is pictured alongside CEO Toby Dewhurst.

Practical experience

Maya Nelson is the perfect example of someone who has used the knowledge she gained from her internship in her life after high school.

As a senior, Maya interned at a local pediatric center. Even though she had a bit of prior knowledge of what pediatric physical therapy was before her internship, after her internship experience, she knew so much more.

During her time at the center, she was able to work closely with a pediatric physical therapist. When her internship was over, she was able to get a letter of recommendation for college from her supervisor, which she believes was a crucial part of why she got into the college she is currently attending, where she is majoring in human physiology.

While she is still learning at college, at her internship she learned more personal skills, like how to appropriately interact with the parents of the children she was helping and how to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When she returns to Maine in the summer or when she graduates from college, the connections she has made will continue to benefit her.

“I would consider it one of my best memories from high school,” Maya says.

Major League internship

Interning isn’t just beneficial to the interns themselves. Chris Cameron, my intern host at the Sea Dogs, started as an intern himself with the Detroit Tigers at the Major League Baseball team’s spring training complex in Florida.

He now helps to coordinate about 20 interns per season that the Sea Dogs host.

Interns at the Sea Dogs not only provide a great deal of help with all the minor details that go into making a perfect baseball season, but they also bring new ideas to the table.

“Some of our most successful programs have been the ideas of our interns,” Cameron said.

Former Sea Dogs interns also tend to stay in touch. Some work for the Sea Dogs full-time, while others remain in the sports industry and serve as great connections. Some even lead them to find new interns for the coming seasons.

Internships have affected the lives of many people, not just the ones mentioned in this article, in such positive ways. Whether you intern in high school, college, or out of college, the experience is guaranteed to benefit you. I know I am lucky to be interning at both businesses because, without them, I still wouldn’t have an understanding of the communications field, be able to make sound business relationships, and finally, know as much about myself as I do now.

Additionally, I have been granted many opportunities, such as writing this article or planning a themed night for the Sea Dogs. Whether you are someone looking for a new route into a profession, a student looking to experience hands-on learning internships, or a business owner looking for an eager group of workers, internships offer a multitude of benefits that extend into the realms of future careers and lifelong learning.

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