McGavock High School is proud of it innovative partnership with U.S. Community Credit Union to give students real-world learning opportunities and authentic work experience. Students at McGavock in the Academy of Business and Finance learn financial principles in the classroom and then have the ability to apply their skills and knowledge in job shadowing, internships, and working at the fully-functioning branch of U.S. Community Credit Union in their school. In this post, Academy Ambassador Aaron H. writes about the skills he learned during the summer internship and how they have impacted his learning and put him on the right path toward being college- and career-ready.
It’s one thing to make an A on a test, but it’s another thing to get an A because you are building skills in a profession. At McGavock High School, we are implementing new ways of learning that will prepare students for the working life outside of school. One way that we are doing this is by giving students the opportunity to go off campus and spend time working with a partner company. I have personally experienced a summer-long internship with U.S. Community Credit Union.
The process of being selected for this internship was a great experience in itself. I had to apply for the job, just like in a real-life scenario. After filling out the application I had to wait for the call telling me when my interview was. While waiting for the interview, we had our business partners from Gaylord Opryland Hotel visit all the applicants and train us on how to interview and what the interviewer looks for. They gave us the skills to interview, and I took the skills I had been taught into my interview. After the interview process, there was another wait to see who got accepted for the job.
I was one of the ten students that were selected to take this summer-long internship. We began the training process for the internship the first week of June. The whole week we learned about different policies and regulations that were set into place. When handling over $25,000.00 dollars a day, there are many rules that are set into place. After learning the rules on how to handle different situations in the credit union, we began going out to the branches and seeing how a branch runs. You learn everything from who goes in the vault, who opens accounts, and what each person’s role is. The week after training, we were assigned to a branch and we shadowed a teller at that branch. That was another week of the internship. The third week of June, we were assigned to a drawer and were watched for one day to make sure we were doing things right. After just two and a half weeks, we became one of them. We were being used as tellers and being looked at as family.
It was as if we were just thrown into a lake, and you either float or they hold you above the water. There was no chance at failure because they were always motivating you and were always quizzing you on what you have to do. For the remainder of the summer we put the skills that we learned to the test. The internship was the training that we needed so that we could succeed in running the branch of U.S. Community Credit Union that operates in our school. After the summer was over, we became the only workers and had to rely on our own knowledge to be successful. The internship was an amazing experience because it immersed me in what I want to do. I want to be an accountant and this was a tool that will help me understand finance and money much better. The internship was the greatest thing that I have ever done with school.