Work Based Learning
Ralph J. Bunche Academy has a Culinary and Hospitality Pathway where students participate several work based learning experiences. In conjunction with their pathway teacher, each student designs an individualized learning plan focused on their interests and passions. As a part of that, students are required to participate in our internship program. Each internship will give students a deep sense of how their interests play out in the adult world, and provide an authentic environment and audience for their work.
Internship Schedule: Students typically are at their internship sites on Wednesdays from 12:30pm - 3:30 plus Fridays 3 - 5PM. Schedules can be adjusted to meet internship site needs.
Finding the Right Match: Students interested in an organization typically initiate the relationship by arranging an informational interview in which they come to your location and speak with someone about the work you do. If the informational interview goes well for both the student and their host, students follow up with a “Shadow Day” when they return to your organization and spend a day observing the work of a staff member that could serve as their mentor. Following the Shadow Day, if all is still going well, the student’s advisor arranges a meeting between student, advisor, and the potential mentor from your organization. No commitment is required of the internship site until that meeting.
Internship Length: Internship length varies according to the fit between the needs of the host site and the student’s needs. Typically, internships last between 3 and 9 months.
Benefits for the Internship Site: Bunche interns work two days per week without pay, contributing their time and their excitement about the field to the workplace. In addition, interns are held accountable for developing and completing projects that will be useful to their host site. Projects are diverse, ranging from writing multilingual brochures for clients to creating informational videos for a site. Projects can also feed directly into the mentor’s work, such as conducting background research or community outreach.
Mentor Responsibilities: Every internship site designates one person who serves as the official Mentor for the student. Mentors are responsible for outlining and assessing the daily work of the intern, as well as participating in meetings with the student’s Advisor or Internship Coordinator (at least once every 4-6 weeks) and attending students’ exhibitions of learning, at the end of the internship.
Support for Mentors: Every student has an Advisor who serves as a support to Mentors by maintaining a flow of important information about the students’ academic, personal, and internship situations. Advisors checkin with students every day supporting the school-based work of their students, as well as checking in about their internship experiences. Wednesday afternoons, they are dedicated to visiting internship sites to work with mentors and students. Advisors are available to discuss interns’ work habits and skills, help design appropriate internship-based projects, and to ensure that the relationship between intern and host site is mutually beneficial.
To find out more contact: Amelia Greenland