Your Turn As An Intern: The Honors Mentorship Program

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Matthew Hanley, Editor

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The 2015-2016 Honors Mentorship class, with teacher Greg Walkup center.

Last year, five students participated in the pilot year of Forsyth Central’s own Honors Mentorship Program, a career-building pathway offered to rising Seniors. Much like the IE2 program, Honors Mentorship is a “class” that students are permitted to sign up for; however, unlike the first-come, first-served nature of IE2, aspiring students are required to submit an application for the program under a strict deadline. The application requires students to write an essay and gather references from previous, present, and memorable teachers – even a member from our community who is not from Forsyth Central must grant the student a recommendation email.

As rigorous as the process may seem, it is nothing worthy of worrying a hopeful student. The program is a rewarding one, and so all applicants try their hardest to gain entry. Once accepted, the student must decide what career pathway he wishes to pursue. Granted that the nature of man is to change, most students will change their minds in the years to come, but for the next two semesters, this decision will determine how you’ll be spending your afternoons – so choose wisely. The program has expanded greatly for the 2016-2017 school year as a result of a successful pilot year. The number of students participating has more than doubled.

Having settled upon a career pathway, it is then up to the students to find a local business befitting of their chosen career. Aspiring medical students often find local clinics or labs to intern at. Some students find county-wide landscaping and environmental groups. Writers may find magazines or blogs to work for. Being one of the lucky inductees of this years class, I pursued journalism, and found myself interning at our county’s own Forsyth County News, the most prominent news journal in the region.

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The Forsyth County News building in Cumming, GA

Like most students, I opted to take two periods of Honors Mentorship. Electing to use my 6th and 7th periods, I leave school early for IE2 5th, and then drive to the Forsyth County News station. In order to intern at the station, I had to contact the chief-editor, Mr. Vince Johnson, and perform a series of interviews to prove my worth. I cannot shed light on the internships of the other students, but mine is without doubt strenuous. Much like a legitimate career, I am trusted with the documents of Forsyth County citizens and cover the day-to-day events of Cumming. From busy work, such as writing engagement announcements and news articles, to more important tasks, such as interviews and shadowing meetings, I am kept working at all times. Being welcomed as a professional intern, I’ve even earned my very own press pass as a means to display that I am legitimate personnel of the station (and other such rewards, including free guest passes to “cover” the annual fair). It’s a rewarding process, and one for which  I most certainly harbor no regrets. It’s truly given me some insight towards the field I intend to make a career in, and I’m certain my fellow students feel the same way.

For all rising Seniors, Honors Mentorship is a way to kickstart your senior year and jump right into the career-building process. I highly recommend it as a means to improve one’s resume, skill-set, and professional profile. Look out for it next year, or reach out to Mr. Greg Walkup, who eagerly welcomes applicants and questions.