While some students took a break from learning over the summer, five Barber Middle School students seized the opportunity to intern with MAD-learn.
Only 14 students from across the country were selected for the MAD-learn virtual internship, which helps students sharpen their skills while also acquiring new skills for future careers. The MAD-learn interns who represented Barber include:
- Buchi Emerah
- Ana Carroll
- Syeda Tanzim
- Jalen Walker
- Alix Bennett-McMayne
Based on their interests, the eighth graders were assigned to mentors (senior MAD-team members) who gave weekly tasks for the students to complete. The Barber students reported directly to their mentors, who guided and helped them navigate through challenges.
“The majority of companies refrain from offering internships to middle school students, despite the evident proficiency displayed by these young individuals,” said Saundra Watts, Barber Computer Science and STEM teacher. “These students demonstrate a remarkable aptitude for acquiring genuine on-the-job soft skills, assuming responsibilities, resolving challenges, and notably, cultivating effective teamwork. Their collaboration with teams composed of adults is a source of genuine pride. Within my classroom, I am diligently imparting the significance of personal branding and the art of constructing compelling resumes. The opportunity provided by MADLearn, enabling students to apply their acquired knowledge to tangible real-world undertakings, is genuinely valued and appreciated.”
Alix is grateful that the company opened the internship opportunity to middle school students and hopes that the experience will help when applying for college.
“The MAD-learn internship gave me an amazing opportunity to discover what modern internships and workplaces are like all while allowing me to further my interests in graphic design, writing, and voice acting! The most useful thing I learned was probably how to write professional, confident emails, which I previously struggled with,” Alix explained.
While Alix made posters, blogged, and worked on a tutorial video, fellow Barber student Syeda’s internship included design tasks that Syeda wishes to continue in the future.
“I enjoyed the internship at MAD-learn because they personalized the tasks that were given to stuff that fit your interests. Also, it fits around your schedule so that you can work at your own pace without any pressure. I also like how friendly and supportive the whole team was to everyone,” Syeda added.
When the Barber students learned of the internship opportunity, they wanted to apply. They learned about resumes and how to create one and had to interview for the position.
Through the internship, the Barber students were able to experience working with a global team, which helped the students learn how to build and maintain a network of relationships and mentors.
As part of Ana’s internship, she worked on music and lyrics for a first-ever MAD-learn song.
“Working with MAD-learn was amazing. I got to experience what it was like to work with a team worldwide and hear their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. This internship has allowed me to be creative and work hard over the summer,” Ana said.
In addition to the Barber students who interned over the summer, two Barber students are going to intern this Fall:
- Aaliyah Anderson
- Sophia Smith