The Crucial Role of Internships in Shaping Future Careers

by Isabella Le (Cohort 15), a Rainier Scholar Administrative Assistant Intern and tutor who will be attending Mount Holyoke College this fall.

This summer, nearly 100 high school and college scholars explored different passions and career paths through internships. We connected with a few scholars to learn about their internship experience.

Ayimen Hussien (Cohort 14) pictured on the left and Princess Green (Cohort 18) pictured on the right worked together as tutors for Rainier Scholars. They interned as tutors to further their communication and technical skills. Ayimen intends on tutoring his fellow computer science peers at Seattle University and Princess wants to become an advisor for Rainier Scholars next year. Through tutoring, they learned how to constructively communicate with younger students. A tutoring tip Ayimen learned was, “giving a different and expansive answer” to effectively articulate abstract concepts to scholars. For some tutoring sessions, it was difficult to explain concepts because the students are young.  

Considering their age, Ayimen and Princess had to adjust their language to help students grasp difficult material. It was an easier experience for Princess to talk to students because she is closer in age to the scholars she tutored. “Rainier Scholars is so ahead of regular school, and in regular school, what I am learning is what the summer two kids are learning now,” said Princess. The timing of her regular school schedule and the scholars benefited her as a tutor. Ayimen and Princess differed in the methodology they used to tutor but they both gained knowledge and skills that will help them advance in their careers. 

Another intern, Lupita Gutierrez (Cohort 12), worked at Swedish Cancer Institute to gain experience in the medical field. She developed patient education materials, specifically on a cancer screening and prevention resource for transgender people, who are an underrepresented group in cancer research and are often excluded from healthcare education. By working to support this population she expressed that she has “gained skills in health literacy by learning to condense and communicate a lot of detailed information in a way that is understandable to specific audiences.” She notes that bridging gaps in the healthcare system is important as it fails to serve people of color, undocumented people, and more. She made the best out of her internship experience by promoting and being part of enacting a multifaceted solution to healthcare access for different communities.

Finally, Seidy Idris (Cohort 14) worked with different underrepresented communities in Seattle to bring solutions to community issues. She explored an unfamiliar career path, urban planning, at Seva Workshop. She describes her goal for this internship as “looking into career fields I have never been exposed to.” Through her exposure to urban planning, she realized her appreciation for community-based equality initiatives. She admires how her internship involves listening to what the community wants from surveying and talking with them at various events. With that, she envisions pursuing a career dedicated to promoting equity and fostering relationships within diverse communities.  

All of the scholars I talked to were excited about the experiences and information they gained during their internships and felt like they received really meaningful insight into various careers. Many scholars used their internship to work on necessary skills that will benefit them in the future. For more scholar internship experiences visit this page to see the scholars we highlighted during National Intern Day in July.