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Bob Jones engineering students finish internships

MADISON – Engineering Academy students at Bob Jones High School have completed their first-semester internships in local businesses and delivered final presentations to peers and professionals.

Started in 2009, Bob Jones engineering internships “increase relevancy, application of core classes and hone soft skills at an early age,” Engineering Academy Director Jessye G. Gaines said. Gaines matches internships with students and prepares them with workplace etiquette.

To-date, Gaines has found internships and placed 200-plus students.

At semester end, students give formal presentations to peers, parents, mentors and school staff. “It’s a great culmination to the semester,” Gaines said. “My senior engineering interns are able to perform at the level of a college intern.”

Giving first-day presentations were Maaike Priest, intern for SAIC Inc.; Nikolai Fadairo and Sam Sheth, Siemens PLM software; Amarri Cole, Elijah Johnson, Caleb Snoddy, Marshall Wu, Josh Adkins, Henry Tsai, Elijah Wampler, NASA – Marshall Space Flight Center; Madeline Anne See, Huntsville Utilities, Water Treatment Facility; Elvis Vazquez and Tan Vo, ADTRAN Inc.; and Ashley Turner, Conversant Bio (HudsonAlpha).

Students in the next day’s presentations were William Archer, City of Madison Engineering Department; Sam Christopher, Shape Fidelity Inc.; April Turner and William Phillips, NASA – MSFC; Nikita Platt, Huntsville Utilities, Water Treatment Facility; Nick Vinson, Whitworth Animal Clinic; Jihad Bell and Gustavo Garcia, Habitat for Humanity of Madison County; and B.J. Burrows, Craft Designs Inc.

Interns complete four-week training at Bob Jones and then begin their 11-week internships. Mentors at host companies help students, who engage in meaningful work, tours, shadowing and meetings.

Internships with employers are mutually beneficial, Gaines said. Companies receive free labor and can recruit for prospective employees. “Students gain incredible life experiences and exposure to the real world. It can bolster their interest in a career or redirect them to another pursuit.”

“Having work experience in the engineering field on a resume before a student ever graduates from high school will open many doors, including college acceptance, scholarships, future co-op positions and future paid internships,” Gaines said.

“We value our business partnerships in the community,” Gaines said. “They are an integral part of empowering our students for global success.”

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