Girls Inc. Eureka! Interns Dive into STEM Careers
This summer, Girls Inc. Eureka! interns journeyed throughout the Twin Cities to get on-the-job experience through (what was for many of them) their first internships. The Eureka! internship experience provides youth in the third year of YWCA’s Eureka! program with concrete applications for the interests they explored in their first two years programming. This year’s participants had the opportunity to explore a variety of fields, including civil engineering, architecture, information technology, media, hydrology and environmental conservation.
Preparing for Internships
The youth prepared for their internships through different workshops designed to prime them for a work environment, such as a resume development workshop and a workshop on professional networking.
The students participated in an internship fair, where they had the opportunity to meet the organizations for the first time and pass out their resumes. Some of the Eurekans, inspired by stories from last year’s interns, knew exactly which sites they wanted to apply to. Other Eurekans were more tentative and took time to read through the descriptions of all 20 available internship sites.
“Dependable, Motivated and Insightful”
We had an amazing group of 20 internship partner organizations this year, Toole Design Group, University of Minnesota’s College of Food Agriculture and Natural Science, Mississippi Park Connection, Family Tree Clinic, Rainbow Research and Project Pride for Living to name a few.
Interns spent four weeks at their internship sites, attending meetings, learning about their organization, shadowing various people they worked with and working on their own projects. YWCA program coordinators were pleased to hear feedback that the interns were, in the words of one internship site, “dependable, flexible, motivated and extremely insightful.”
“Getting Valuable Experience”
One youth said, “The best part of my internship was learning about things I could do in the STEM field once I get older and getting valuable experience.” Their work contributed to ongoing projects, including evaluating curriculum, conducting follow-up analysis at construction sites, studying the content of water collected from various locations and creating a story map. Two interns were hosted by MPR’s Brains On! podcast, where their projects can be heard in the July 17, July 31 and August 7 episodes.