The Path to Success: Summer Interns


Hayden Elder, Online Newspaper Editor

Working a summer job is a rite of passage for most high school students, who work long hours for minimum wage slinging burgers and fries at the local fast food joint.

For some lucky students here at Battle, their summer job was a piece of air-conditioned heaven at the corporate giant IBM. Over an eight week period this summer, ten students between their Junior and Senior years at Mid-Missouri high schools got a taste of the good life that is a desk job. Seniors Omar Hayes and Leslie Ramirez were both chosen to work for IBM over the summer.

IBM isn’t exactly a household name anymore, especially to 17 and 18 year old students. Even twenty-somethings don’t quite know what International Business Machines is. IBM partnered with Pathways to Prosperity, an organization seeking to give work experience to high school students looking to expand their horizons, in order to give a younger crowd a taste of what it is like to work at a massive, international corporation.

It wasn’t an easy road to get the job. In January, prospective students applied to Pathways to Prosperity with an application and an essay. After a month, the finalists there were passed to IBM where they had to directly apply to the company in a formal application. Then, 50 students were interviewed for the job. After that, the applicants sat and waited for the phone call to seal the deal. Over 200 people applied, ten were accepted.

The interns received an opportunity that most teenagers drooled over. They worked full-time and were paid handsomely, around $12.69 an hour, all while gaining invaluable workplace experience with some of the best IT specialists in the business.

Interns were split into multiple teams, each specializing in a different area of work. Some interns worked on mainframes and some on building servers and networking. The interns weren’t treated as interns either, after the first few days of adjustment, they were thrown straight into the fire that fuels IBM. Conference calls with teams in China and Brazil were frequent and deadlines had to be met every time.

For the students who were chosen, IBM proved to be a challenging and rewarding experience. The internship gave students a glimpse of what it’s like to work within the tech industry, and gives them an advantage in college and in their future careers.