Summer Study '06: What Do the Interns Do?

Scholars who have completed Phase II can apply to be Interns. The following article summarizes what the Interns do.

Summer Study: The Intern Experience

by Intern Alex

Picture of DO-IT Intern Alex
DO-IT Intern, Alex

If you've ever been a Phase I or Phase II Scholar you've probably wondered what it's like to return for a third summer as a Summer Study Intern; I know I did. In a nutshell, Summer Study Interns are the people who help out the DO-IT staff members assist the Scholars during the annual two-week Summer Study program as a way of getting hands-on work experience and supporting DO-IT programs. Unlike most traditional first jobs, you are working together with a team of other students with disabilities, where the disability of one may be the strength of another. However, Summer Study Interns still experience common aspects of the traditional work environment with specific on- and off-duty hours, expectations, and responsibilities.

Interns stay at the dorms for the entire two-week program. During on-duty hours, you are generally in the classroom, directly helping with the sessions. While off duty, you either have a chance to listen in on sessions that sound interesting or relax until you're scheduled to work again. As in a job, you are expected to show up at your scheduled time. Not every event requires your assistance, but it's ultimately your responsibility to be where you are scheduled to be, on time, and ready to assist.

When Scholars go on field trips or have evening activities and events, Interns help host. For instance, in the annual tie-dying activity, the Interns need to make sure all the Scholars have a chance to make a shirt. The Interns make sure that all the Scholars are involved and have the chance to try the activities. In some cases, the Interns go with the Scholars to provide extra assistance to staff, as in the night out at University Village or the evening at the UW planetarium which both entail helping move the group safely from one place to another.

During evening dorm activities, Interns assist in making sure activities go smoothly and help engage Scholars. Since Scholars have the choice to hang out outside, in the lounge, or in the lobby during this time, an Intern's role is to go to the area he or she is assigned and interact with the Scholars who are there.

Like camp counselors, the Summer Study Interns help the DO-IT staff assist the Scholars in what to do and where to go and once again enjoy the awesome Summer Study experience.