ITW David Speer Academy Senior Internship Program


Senior Internship Program Description


Program Vision: Our vision is to increase the representation of women and people of color working in STEM fields by adequately preparing our students for STEM college majors and careers. Working in a professional environment alongside worksite supervisors will equip students with hard and soft skills that will enable them to graduate from college in a STEM major and to become future problem solvers, innovators and leaders in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


Program Goals: Speer Academy faculty and students will work with you to meet the following objectives

  • Establish a mutually beneficial partnership with business partners: professionals provide mentorship and teach professional skills while students contribute to unpaid work to the business or organization.
  • Connect students with STEM professionals according to their areas of interest.
  • Explore the educational requirements, traits and skills required in a STEM career of interest.
  • Develop hard and soft skills in a professional setting.
  • Promote the training of future employees in STEM careers.
  • Increase the inclusion of underrepresented populations in STEM and professional fields.

Internship Logistics:

  • Students attend internship on Fridays for a minimum of 5 hours. Students must earn a minimum of 90 hours from mid-October-mid-April.
  • Because the senior internship is a graduation requirement, students will not be paid at their placements.
  • Students take a class at Speer Academy that coincides with their internships and reinforces the hard and soft skills they are developing, as well as presenting them with the opportunity to build a resume, improve their professional communication skills, research a career of interest, and develop a product related to the work they do in their placements.
  • Students maintain a journal of activities and learning at internship (to be submitted to internship teacher).
  • The worksite supervisor ensures that student has arrived, evaluates the student’s work at the internship site and communicates with the Internship Coordinator on regular basis regarding progress, concerns, etc.

Worksite Supervisor Requirements:

  • Each internship worksite supervisor will be assigned 1 or more students (depending on the capacity of the worksite) for the duration of the internship (October-April).
  • As a Worksite Supervisor, you must
    • Be willing to mentor a student, provide professional work exposure, and have a genuine desire to help foster an interest in your profession in future generations.
    • Work together with Speer Academy to create a plan for what the student(s) will be involved in during the internship time that considers the student's safety and wellbeing. Students may either shadow and observe, or actively participate in some form of meaningful work that facilitates learning about the career. The plan, created with Speer Academy partners, should include a description of the internship, learning objectives and the desired qualifications of a student placed in your business or organization.
    • Be willing to commit to forming a relationship with the Speer Academy, and host interns in subsequent school years.
    • Agree to submit two performance reviews evaluating the professionalism of your intern(s).
    • Commit to regular communication with the internship coordinator regarding student progress as well as any concerns, including notifying her regarding any problematic situation with the student at the internship site or if student is late or absent from scheduled internship hours.
    • Complete and sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Speer Academy partners.
    • Provide the necessary supervision, training, precautionary safety instruction in the performance of the position duties and responsibilities described in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Learn more about the impact our Senior Internship Program has had on our first graduating class!

Internship Timeline

August-September

  • Students attend internship pre-work classes where they learn professionalism, are guided through the application process, and begin to research their career of interest.
  • Students convey their qualifications and skills concisely on their resumes.
  • Students explore available internship opportunities, qualifications, and locations via the Internship Openings Page
  • Students research their careers of interest. They compose a research paper in which they explore the projected job and money outlook, educational requirements, roles and qualifications of that career.
  • Students apply for available internships. Speer faculty interview students, review application materials and place students into appropriate internships according to interests and qualifications.
  • Students learn internship expectations and appropriate behavior for their placements.
  • Students reach out to internship supervisors via email to introduce themselves and coordinate the details of their first days.

October-April

  • Interns work in their placements on Fridays. The timeframe is flexible depending on the needs the business or organization.
  • Interns record weekly internship work and collect data relevant to their career on their Weekly Work Logs.
  • Interns log a minimum of 90 hours via Timeclock Wizard
  • Interns develop a product to showcase their learning in their internships. This product should be an example of what a professional in that career will produce

April-May

  • Interns prepare and finalize their portfolios and final products. This includes career research, data collection at internship, documentation of internship work, career research paper, final product and presentation.
  • Students present their portfolios to the community. Worksite hosts, families and Speer community are invited to learn about work


2018-2019 Official Internship Dates

Friday, October 5, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday, December 7, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

Friday, February 1, 2019

Friday February 8, 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday, March 8, 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

Friday, March 29, 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Supervisor Kickoff meeting at Speer Academy: September 14, 2018

Internship Celebration: May 10, 2019

Dates students are not required attend internships:

Friday, October 19, 2018 -No school for students

Friday, November 2, 2018 -Report Card Pick Up

Friday, November 23,2018-Thanksgiving Break

Friday, December 21, 2018-Winter Break

Friday, December 28, 2018-Winter Break

Friday, January 4, 2019-Winter Break

Friday, January 25, 2019-Report Card Pick Up

Friday, March 1, 2019-No school for students

Friday, April 5, 2019- Report Card Pick Up

Friday, April 19, 2019- Spring Break

Are you interested in hosting senior interns? Do you have questions? Would you like more information?

Contact Bekah Holland at rholland@speeracademy.org or at 312-764-8839.