Colts Getting In Contact

Students at Parkway Reaching Out and Taking Internships


Alyssa Weisenberg

Senior Nya Anderson- Pittman and Mrs. Carr work behind the register of the Colt Cafe.

Every high school student has probably been asked, “Do you know what you want to study?” And unless you’ve been training to be a doctor since you could walk, you might have felt overwhelmed by that question recently. One of the most recurring pieces of advice I’ve heard from people about deciding what you want to study in college is exploring the field that you’re interested in. This could be doing an internship, class, or the occasional personal research. The most cost and time effective option I have heard though is just talking to a professional in that field. This year I gave it a try myself.

Having connections is very helpful. Someone’s friend of a friend might know someone that’s a professional in your field of interest. In my case, a family friend of mine works with a professional in public health epidemiology. He introduced us through email and Dr. Amanda Brzozowski, MPH, PhD, responded to contact me first. 

In this process of contacting professionals, what I’ve learned is to be patient. I shouldn’t expect an immediate response, no matter how long we’ve been in communication. These people are often very busy and I am not on top of their priorities. Even though I did have to follow up a few times to get a response to my emails Dr. Brzozowski was friendly and understanding. She even offered me a ride so that we could meet in person. 

Overall, our discussion went well and I learned a lot. However, looking back, I feel that I should have prepared better. Maybe writing my questions down would have helped the flow of the conversation. One thing that I was surprised by after talking to Dr. Brozowski was the expanse of the field. In public health there is a lot to do but even in the epidemiology field there are a lot of sub fields. I asked her what she would be doing if she were my age right now. She said that she would be doing exactly what I was doing. She didn’t have the same access to networking that we do today through social media, email and texting and it would have allowed her to help discover what she wanted to do earlier.

Alyssa Weisenberg

Another student at Central has also contacted some professionals. Junior Chase Waldman is an aspiring music producer who has contacted many music producers. Kelly Warner a sound designer at Ringling College of Arts and Design being one of them. He also got in contact with Philip Milman, a composer and producer in Los Angeles and founder of PM Music. For Waldman, meeting these professionals strengthened his skills and his interest in the field. 

“Both Kelly and Philip have given me advice on the best way to format songs, and the best way to mix the songs for them to sound like what I want, but still, be heard by every speaker the same.” Waldman says. “They are continuing to help me perfect my craft, make songs and produce them while also having the knowledge of being able to mix and master the songs.” 

Not only did they sharpen Waldman’s knowledge on his passion Waldman recalls having fun and genuinely enjoying the experience. 

“It has been a lot of fun to talk with them and to get their input on what I have been creating.” Waldman said.

If you’re looking to try to explore a field of your interest there are a lot of options here at school. Mrs. Carr, the business internship coordinator at Parkway Central, runs the Video Board Internship here at school. The internship is a part of the sports marketing team. They work up in the stadium booth and run the cameras, replays and music. During their eighth block class, the students create advertisements for events that go on around the school and hype pieces for games.

“I think work experience is really valuable.” Carr said. “It helps you develop a work ethic, and it gives you an opportunity to do hands-on work that is engaging.” 

 Junior Zoe Klevens is currently getting her experience in. Klevens works in the Parkway administration building in communications. She takes the time during her second block to work on projects with professionals at the administration building right next to the middle school.

“It’s definitely helped me because I know that I want to go into communications,” Klevens said. “But there’s so many different types of communications and I can see crisis communication, I can see social media, I can see all of that happening at once in that building.” 

Having this sort of experience can really narrow things down in deciding what you want to do and help you plan things out to tell the future. 

“It’s not that people aren’t going to change their mind. But just having a little bit of experience in accounting, a little experience and marketing, a little experience and fashion design. And whatever, just getting as much experience in the careers as you can, will help guide you for next steps.” Carr said.

Experience isn’t the only thing that Klevens is getting out of this internship. Like Waldman, she also gets a chance to improve her skills. 

“It’s helpful for me because I get to experience it all. It’s also helping me with my video production skills.” Klevens said. “I’ve done summer programs, but I’ve never taken a class for it. So, I’m getting my writing, my video, and social media skills all at once, which is nice.”

Additionally, having a bit of extra cash may be nice, but experience can’t be bought. Talking to a professional won’t cost anything but your time. It can really be beneficial to start your research before you get charged thousands of dollars for tuition. 

“I guess my advice would be to start that exploration process early… we offer so many opportunities, I would say, take advantage of some.” Carr says. “I always tell my students, exploring careers in high school is a freebie. You don’t have to pay for it.”