I think if you’re looking to start out somewhere as a first job or to get work experience, you should try joining the Adler team first. If you’ve seen the Red-Eye newspaper article on internships, you might not be too excited about getting one. They discuss how interns are overworked and underappreciated. It also talks about how they’re taken advantage of. At the Adler everyone is welcomed and made to feel like a part of the museum family. Every person seems to counts here. Before I started working at the Adler, I was afraid and I thought people would ignore me because I was an intern or that i’d be running constant unnecessary errands. I was very wrong. The workers here are always friendly and so helpful when I have any questions. Every chance I get, i’m going to volunteer or work at the Adler.
Interning at the Adler was by far the best summer. In my opinion, it’s the best place for teenagers to intern. It kept me adjusted for school as well. I hate waking up early! By working here, I conditioned myself to be okay with waking up early so when school starts again, it’s not a huge problem. Being an intern is so much different than being a permanent worker or a volunteer. As an intern you learn the ropes and actually get proper introductions into things and I actually feel more welcome as an intern. Most places, interns are just there as an extra hand but here, we’re included and introduced to everyone. As a permanent worker, you’re introduced usually once if at all. As interns we all work together almost everyday. There’s a lot of support from our peers as well as our supervisor.
One part I really enjoyed was our independent projects. For the summer camp interns we were expected to create a lesson plan. As a camp intern, we were there to help the teacher so they wouldn’t have to leave the classroom. We would socialize with the campers when we werent on an errand, it was a great experience. We all had a variety of lesson plans we wanted to try out. For mine, I drafted a lesson that would teach 2nd and 3rd graders the order of the planets, what a planet is and an easy way to remember the order of the planets.
This actually wasn’t my first internship at the Adler. In the Spring of 2013 I participated in an internship called “Astro Journalists”. We basically would write articles on things we found interesting about space or other things around that topic. I found out about that internship through my school and I decided I wanted to try to build a relationship with the Adler. I applied for it and I was so happy when I found out I’d been chosen. The three things I learned that stick with me the most are: Before you get a paid job you’re mostly likely going to have an unpaid one first, dark matter is unknown but it makes up a significant portion of our galaxy and we know more about what dark matter is not rather than what it is. I love the Adler community and from now on I’m going to be involved as much as I can.
My ultimate goal now for the following year as an intern is to get a job next summer as a camp counselor. I really loved working with the Technology Campers. They were so engaged and ready to learn. I thought back to when I was the same age as them, about six to nine, I couldn’t even remember my mother’s telephone number and they can already build robots and program them! I was so amazed by these campers and I only got to work with them for 3 days. I didnt think id like waking up early in the summer. Working here, I’m always excited to start work and I think of how great the day will be. I’m really glad I did an unpaid internship here back in the Spring. I probably wouldn’t have found out about the summer camps internship and I know my chances would have been smaller. My advice to every high school student is to start building work experience as early as you can. You don’t have to get paid to gain work experience. Lots of places like to see volunteer work and unpaid internships.