Internships take learning beyond the classroom for Cathedral High students

After spending seven weeks interning at Fidelity Investment, Jarrivel Baez, a soon-to-be senior at Cathedral High School in Boston, can't say for certain if she would want to pursue a business career. What she is certain of, however, is that the internship "definitely opened my eyes."

Already looking at colleges, Baez is nudging more towards an English degree. But, she said, speaking to The Pilot Aug. 18, "I still wanted to explore, and (the internship) gave me insight into what the business world is like, what a business environment is like."

"I learned a lot from it," she said.

Not every high schooler gets an opportunity to pursue an internship, especially one at a prestigious firm like Fidelity Investments. But at Cathedral High School, students are not only encouraged to take on an internship, they are also assisted by the school.

"As an applied learning school, for us it's so critical to make sure that we connect classroom learning with the experience happening in their communities so that students feel that the learning that they do in the classroom and the school really does pay off," said Head of School Oscar Santos.

"We look at students' personalized learning plans and interests that students have" to find opportunities they would like, which helps them to "get a real sense" what an actual job would be like.

"It's about getting the exposure and, obviously, getting the experience," he said.

Close to 45 students took part in internships this summer at places including Fidelity Investments, Radius Bank, WilmerHale, the Statehouse, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court's Judicial Youth Corps.

Soon-to-be senior Jeremy Budrow interned this summer at WilmerHale, a Boston-based law firm. Like Baez, his interests lie elsewhere, but nevertheless he found the internship to be an "amazing experience."

He said he learned a lot and made good connections, and while he doesn't see himself becoming a lawyer, the internship "has opened my mind for me."