Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the ICE and the PCI Internship?
The PCI is offered to Juniors or Seniors. This internship allows students to explore specific career fields in a real life setting.The ICE is a capstone course for Seniors; they use their technical knowledge and skills they've learned in the classroom and apply them in a real life job.
Are the internships paid?
No, they're not. In exchange for working outside of school, students receive credit hours. However, if your job site requests that you work past normal school hours and it is approved by the MHS Coordinator (Mrs. Row), they will provide appropriate compensation.
How does the schedule work?
You will take your normal 1st and 2nd hour classes at school each day. You intern from 12:00 am to 3:00 pm the rest of the week except for the days we do not have school. On Mondays, you will be in classroom instruction with Mrs. Row during 3rd hour. A work schedule is published and given to all parties to clarify working days.
When do I eat lunch?
You are expected to have eaten lunch before you get to work. When you leave school at 10:16, you have more than an hour and a half to grab something to eat and still be to work on time. On Mondays when you have classroom instruction with Mrs. Row, you will have a working lunch with her.
Do I get breaks at work?
No. You are not entitled to contractual breaks at the workplace. In fact, you will eat lunch BEFORE you show up for work. This means you will work straight through from 12 am to 3 pm each day.
How long is the internship?
The PCI is one trimester. The ICE can be 1-3 trimesters long.
What happens if I don't fulfill the Internship requirements?
If there are problems with the internship, your mentor/site supervisor and Mrs. Row will come to an agreement on course of action. This will include non-compliance action, counseling and/or termination. If you are terminated from the program, you do not receive the credit hours. You will be placed in study hall for the rest of the trimester.
Do I have to dress up for work?
You betcha! This is real world, real life and people don't report to their jobs in blue jeans, shorts, cutoffs or t-shirts. Depending upon the internship site, you will wear office or technical attire at all times. If you are working in a business office, professional business attire is expected. If you are in a hospital or medical environment, scrubs or other appropriate clothing is required.
How do I get accepted into the MHS Internship program?
The steps for acceptance into the program are dictated by the State Department of Education and Merrillville Community Schools. First, you need to honestly answer all of the questions on the application and return it to Mrs. Row as soon as possible. Your transcript and records are then reviewed to ensure they follow the PCI and ICE requirements. From there, you will ask three (3) teachers/administrators/counselors in Merrillville Schools to complete a recommendation and have them return those to Mrs. Row as well. Have your parent/guardian complete the parent consent form along with a copy of your driver's license and medical coverage and bring that to Mrs. Row also. When all of these documents have been received and reviewed, you will be called in for an interview. If accepted, you will then interview with the prospective mentor/site supervisor. You and your parents may also attend an orientation meeting at school to make sure everyone understands the expectations.
What do I need to do to prepare for the Interview?
For both the pre-internship interview at school and the interview(s) with the prospective mentor/site supervisor, you need to dress your best and put your best foot forward. Ask your parents or other adults how important a job interview is. It can make or break your career. Interview Tips
Remember, you're in competition for this position. If you don't shine during the interview, someone else will!!!
How do I know what job I'll get?
After acceptance into the program and successfully interviewing with the prospective mentor/site, Mrs. Row will talk with those companies that interviewed you, carefully place you and draw up your training agreement (contract). You will sign the necessary documents (Training Plan, Training Agreement, Confidentiality Agreement) and bring in your parent consent form to ensure the expectations of your internship are documented and protection is in place for all parties.
Do I start working the 1st day?
The first ten (10) days are spent in Seminar with Mrs. Row to prepare you for the real working world. You will start work on the 11th school day of the trimester..
How do I get to work?
Students applying for this program should have their own transportation. This means that they have a vehicle and can drive themselves to and from work. Relying on others is not dependable transportation. Not showing up to work because you do not have transportation is unacceptable. Having a back up (parent) in case your car doesn't start is an exceptionally good idea. You have a required amount of hours to complete to earn credit for this.
What happens if I'm sick and can't come to school?
You need to call Mrs. Row as soon as possible and let her know you are sick. It is imperative that you make one-on-one contact and not leave a message. If you can't reach her in person on her cell phone, you must call her at school and talk to her in person. She, in turn, will call your employer and advise them of your absence. Remember that you have required hours to work in order to receive your credits so make sure if you are calling off, you really and truly are sick. Making up hours is at the discretion of your employer and Mrs. Row. Don't count on being able to make up missed work.
What about snow days or delayed days?
Interns do not work if school is not in session. This includes holidays and other school related changes in the schedule. We all know that on some bad weather days, the weather may clear up by 11:00 am. If this happens, you may work providing Mrs. Row, your parents and the site supervisor agree it is safe for you to come in. Do not go in unless you have approval to do so from Mrs. Row!
What happens if I get hurt or injured on the job?
If you are injured on the job, it is your liability and not your employer's. Your parents have signed a consent and release that you will not hold the employer liable. For this reason, it is important that your parents have health and/or disability coverage to protect you. You must, of course, also prove that you have appropriate automobile insurance coverage as well.
What happens if I have problems, make bad decisions or can't complete the program?
This is an important question and one you really need to understand. The internship program is very selective and challenging in that you are out in the real world doing what your parents and other hard-working American citizens do every day. If you have questions or concerns, counsel with Mrs. Row first before you make an impetuous decision. If there are conflicts at work, discuss them with Mrs. Row as soon as possible. She is your first line of communication.
Not following the guidelines or creating unpleasant situations for your employer will result in non-compliance and/or termination from the program. Your mentor/site supervisor has taken you under his/her wing to teach you what they had to learn the hard way. You are blessed to have such guidance. To disappoint them or harm their business will not be tolerated. When you have to be forced to follow guidelines, it takes all the fun out of the experience. Termination is worse. If you are terminated from the program, you will lose all the time and experience in the field as well as forfeit the credit hours. Depending upon the reasons of termination, you may be placed in study hall or face serious discipline action.
If I do really well at my internship, will I get a job there?
There are no promises of a job after your internship but your mentor/site supervisor may have good reasons to hire you should a position in their company come open. They have invested in your training and skills and to hire you would be advantageous to their business. You never know where your path may lead you. Take advantage of the networking you are building in your job. The people you meet and work with all know other people. In today's world, it's who you know that opens doors.
Can I do this more than one semester?
Unfortunately, the PCI is only one semester. But if you are in an ICE internship, the answer is yes IF you have completed all of your requirements and are on track for graduation. Consult with your guidance counselor to make sure it fits in your schedule.For additional questions or concerns, contact Mrs. Row at 219-650-5307 extension 7175 or email her at email@example.com.