By Eric Kuznar
Fishers High School’s new internship program placed 12 seniors with local business this school year, and guidance counselor Brandon Cloud looks to the future of both the program and students who take part with optimism.
“We have a lot of students who would benefit from this as it goes further,” Cloud said. “It’s just getting those kids matched up to businesses in the future.”
The 12 students who took part in the first year of the internship program were placed at seven locations — Shelton Machinery, Accelerated Rehabilitation, Indiana University Health, the oncology office at Indiana University Hospital, Kindred Bridgewater Rehabilitation, MediaFuel and the FHS athletic department. The school hopes to partner with more businesses, and Cloud estimated up to 30 students could participate next school year.
“We are really strategic in the placement of students,” he said. “I would rather do it slow and accurately than rushed and haphazardly.”
According to Cloud, students must fill out an initial interest form before they can fill out an application for the internship program, with GPA and teacher input also factors in the process.
“Our motto is giving them real experience beyond the classroom,” Cloud said.
Dasuni Sirisooriya, a senior at FHS, was placed at the HSE Health Clinic office of IU Health. She believes her experience will give her an advantage going into college.
“Being exposed to the field early on has definitely given me a leg up because others are going to come in and not know what to expect,” she said.
For Sirisooriya, her time as an intern has had real life implications. She will be attending Indiana University next year, going into pre-med and majoring in biology.
Melissa Piscano, practicing manager at IU Health Business Solutions, was very happy with the internship program’s results.
“I think it has worked really well,” she said. “The students have been great coming in and shadowing the staff.”
Piscano said IU Health plans to add four additional interns from FHS next year.