Leveraging the Power of Internships, Part 1

An internship for a 12-year-old?

I was shocked last year when my 12-year-old daughter, Rachel, was offered an internship. She and her younger sisters were taking homeschool enrichment classes in art, music, and theatre as part of a homeschool enrichment program each Friday at The Harmony House. One week Rachel helped the store manager, Bridget, with a project. Bridget was so pleased with Rachel’s helpful attitude that she offered her an internship.

When Rachel told me about the offer, I thought for sure there must be some mistake. I asked one of the teachers about it the following week. The offer was real! Even though we weren’t looking for an internship, and I thought Rachel was a bit young to have one, I discussed the possibility with my husband. I recalled how I had developed valuable life skills helping out in my parents’ store when I was even younger than Rachel. We both agreed it was a great opportunity for our enthusiastic, outgoing, extroverted girl.

We were right. During the 5 hours a week she helped out, Rachel helped pack up instruments to be returned to their supplier, learned valuable office skills like filing, answered phones in a professional, friendly manner, arranged rooms for concerts, helped with cleanup, and gained experience in a retail environment - taking inventory, helping customers find items, running the cash register and credit card machine. A couple times, she even ran the music store herself!

The positive experience she was having at age 12 really made me wonder: Should we seek out similar internship opportunities for our other children? It was an exciting thought, but I knew it would be tough to find the right placements for them. I began to pray for the right opportunities for our older children.

Be sure to check out part 2 and part 3 of this series as well!