Conservatories expose CCA students to career opportunities

CCA’s conservatory program offers job shadowing and internship experiences for students.

Program gives students job shadowing and internship experience in variety of fields.

Opportunities for students to participate in career exploration while in high school are limited. It is hard for them to understand the vast array of jobs available in the workforce without taking the time to explore the different options. 

CCA believes it is never too early to begin immersive learning to prepare students for careers after graduation. STEM Conservatory Manager Barry King and Arts & Humanities Conservatory Manager Charlene Swoboda recognize the value in job shadowing and internship experience for high school students. 

In this month’s WeAreCCA podcast, King and Swoboda discuss the career opportunities CCA has available through the STEM and Arts & Humanities conservatories. Ed Ferderbar, COO of Marketechs Design Studio, also shares his experience hosting a CCA student intern. 

When students identify an area of interest they can sign up for internship opportunities through the conservatory programs. The courses offered prepare students for experiential learning and help them through the actual job shadow or internship.

“Once we know students’ interests and where their strengths lie, we can connect them with opportunities in the community, then they are living with greater intention,” Swoboda said. “This is the courses they choose at CCA and the connections they’re making.”

There are a variety of courses offered at CCA that are geared toward specific careers, such as anatomy and physiology for those interested in the medical field or finance and entrepreneurship courses for students interested in business. Students can sign up to take courses in high school according to their interests. 

Conservatory managers help students identify potential job shadowing or internship opportunities. Once students obtain and begin their internship, they are required to keep a journal record of their experiences. This helps the conservatory managers ensure it is truly an enriching learning experience.

One student, Alena Jewers, completed an internship with Marketechs Design Studios in York, a company that specializes in visual displays for large corporations, small museums and universities. Alena was interested in graphic design so she was able to shadow a few of the designers at Marketechs. 

“I think an intern program does a fantastic job of giving [students] the opportunity to not only understand the career path [they] want to take but help [them] see what it is like to work in a business,” Ferderbar said.

Some students go into an internship thinking they know what they want to do and leave realizing it isn’t for them. Having an authentic experience helps students to see what it is that they truly do and don’t want to do. 

Students gain experience and knowledge through these opportunities if they take advantage of them. It could save money or time down the road if they have already had exposure to a field early on. 


Commonwealth Charter Academy


May 16, 2018


Learning Lab

Get weekly updates in your inbox