Sunday Snippet: Camp Counselor ~ The Ultimate Internship!
The lament of the internship dogs at most college students, especially at this time of year. It is presented as necessary to ensure a place in the job world once the student has graduated from their degree program. But recently published research and case studies, suggest that the summer intern may not be elevating her place in the entry level job market upon graduation. What is becoming increasingly evident is that 21st century skills (also know as non-cognitive skills) are becoming considerably more attractive to employers than one’s ability to fetch doughnuts and coffee in the office environment. Where does one learn and enhance such skills; skills such as team-building, community living, problem-solving & relationship building? Well… camp, of course!
In today’s (March 17, 2013) New York Times, parenting contributor, David Fleshler shares his thoughts on recent discussions he had with his daughter regarding her choice to forgo the internship path for the more meaningful and fulfilling of camp counseling – The Camp Counselor vs. The Intern.
My daughter already came across as an impressive young woman based on her accomplishments,
and I had no idea whether one more line on her résumé was likely to make the slightest difference.
A recent study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers concluded
that “unpaid internships offer no advantage to the job-seeking student”
In an opinion piece published in USA Today, Darryl Brown (a junior at Williams College at the time) was a bit more pointed in his thoughts on the value of internships to increase one’s chances for meaningful employment within one’s field of study – Skip the Internship, Go To Camp!
…internship experience rarely parallels relevant work experience.
Moreover, a student with (all else equal) an internship experience
— indeed, even two — will not receive a substantive boost
in the hiring process. The dirty secret of the professional world
is that everyone knows that internships are vehicles
through which companies can unload their undesirables
onto unsuspecting college students.
And Harvard Magazine recently published an article by Harvard student, Isabel Ruane – At Camp, A Community. Ms. Ruane described the importance of learning how to apply values in the community setting of camp – a skill not learned in any other setting than the camp community!
I’ve come back from camp to college believing firmly in the power of a community
that embraces virtue even as its members have fun and work toward
common and individual goals. I hope the instigation of the (Harvard) Freshman Pledge
encourages more voices to speak out about the importance of collaboration,
respect, kindness, and humility here. If they do, we will find the Harvard community
rallying around these values. Imagine if, instead of seeing ourselves as the smartest kids of America,
we humbled ourselves as the luckiest; imagine if, instead of dreaming of personal success,
we eagerly anticipated using our talents to serve the world; imagine if we went around saying,
“How can I help you?” and “What needs to be done around here?” instead of
“These are my personal goals,” and “This is what I have to do.”
What more can we say about the power and potential of the camp counseling experience? It is a remarkable experience where you will never work so hard doing what you love helping others become all that they can be. And you will learn skills that will enhance your life beyond simply your career. At camp, you will inspire and be inspired, all while having an incredible load of fun. And we didn’t even mention the amazing lifelong friendships you will create with others from around the country and the world. It’s time to consider a job at camp as the ULTIMATE INTERSHIP!!