Information for Educators2022-12-29T22:47:33+00:00

Information for Educators

A message from the president/CEO of The Internship Depot.
Read Here.

For a number of reasons, not the least of which is the emerging research about the need for a new set of ‘not-so-soft’ skills that our young adults will need to be successful in post-secondary education and work, we determined it was time to reinvent the traditional internship experience. For years, research has pointed to the importance of academic success in challenging coursework as the key indicator of college success. But new research has added more information about what works and what doesn’t as students work their way through college, and we have taken that challenge to heart. Learn More.

So, in fact, we did nothing less than reinvent the internship experience! We transformed the decades-old model from an exercise that provided almost no preparation and relatively passive experiences for a limited number of teens into one that:

  • offers a much longer preparation period (featuring effective, dynamic, and experiential learning activities),
  • requires a much shorter (two-week) internship commitment,
  • is an instructional (unpaid) experience that unfolds online (students are never on the business site), and
  • removes the constraints of cost and management time that the traditional internship model put on employers, thus opening the doors to thousands of students who might want to serve an internship.

Most importantly, we put the burden for securing internship Hosts (businesspeople who agree to remotely ‘manage’ an intern) on the student, and in doing so, we shifted the emphasis from learning during the internship itself to learning during the process of acquiring the internship.

That acquisition process puts demands on the student that go light years beyond the old internship or job application/interview scenario. Not at all coincidentally, our internship model exactly mirrors the hiring/work practices that are on the rise today and will be the norm in tomorrow’s Gig Economy. Learn More.

Our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP) prepares high school students for tomorrow’s workforce and helps teens take their first steps into the Gig Economy, so they can start their careers early and seek competitive employment opportunities. If they are successful in that ‘human cloud,’ they can earn money in high school and college that will help them achieve their income/education/career goals. Perhaps more importantly, data reveal that anywhere from 70 to 85 percent of adults secure their jobs through their personal networks. We provide opportunities for students to start building their networks before they leave high school.

In addition to the RIPP for high school juniors and seniors, we offer the Stormy Wannabees Advantage Initiative for high school freshmen and sophomores, which includes our exclusive G.R.I.T. curriculum. We also offer The First Rung (lessons about the importance of school performance that will help eighth graders gain ground in middle school and their early high school years). All these lessons deliver essential information to students in those most critical of years so middle school students can become high performing underclassmen/women and underclassmen/women can become high-performing upperclassmen/women.

We expect students who participate in any of our program offerings to learn and exhibit maturity, accept new responsibilities, and maneuver outside of their comfort zones. Successful participants receive certificates of completion, recommendations from business executives, and free lifetime memberships to The Rainmakers Club, an online community through which they can begin building their professional networks and support incoming Rainmakers Candidates.

Simultaneously, we worked hard to ensure that our RIPP activities align with and support the goals that most districts have adopted for high school students as they prepare for education after high school, for work, and for life. We believe our RIPP activities support school/district goals in as many as ten different ways as noted below.

1. School | District Goal: Improve student academic achievement as measured by school and district test scores.2019-08-06T21:33:36+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Develop a Performance-Based Résumé

Most business people would agree that a student’s most important job is to be successful in school. In our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program, we capitalize on that perception and encourage students to use their progress/success in school as the focal point of a performance-based résumé.

Participating students analyze their current academic standing and strive to improve their grades in key academic subjects (especially in, but not limited to, English, Mathematics, and Science), using data from teacher-created tests and quizzes, scores on standardized tests, and teacher evaluations pertaining to effort and other soft skills.

To succeed in this effort, students are encouraged to establish better relationships with their teachers – the same kind of relationships they will need to establish with their bosses if they want to be successful.

Months later, participants document their growth/improvement in a performance-based résumé, citing appropriate data.

If students are academic achievers at the highest levels, they will be asked to tutor one or two students under the auspices of the subject-matter teacher.

2. School | District Goal: Encourage students to assume key leadership roles across school functions so they gain real-life experience, apply academic learning, and have their voices heard.2019-08-06T21:37:08+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Rainmakers Social Impact Challenge

Our Rainmakers Candidates (participating students) work in teams to conceive, design, deploy, and measure the effectiveness of a student-focused marketing campaign that addresses one of the goals of the school or the school district to reduce negative activities (bullying/drugs/smoking/vaping/guns) or to increase achievement (getting better grades in Mathematics/doing all assigned homework). Most importantly, teams develop a method by which they will evaluate their success.

Our Rainmakers Candidates work in teams and meet with school leaders to understand school goals and get approvals for their projects and evaluation methods. Students are given a set of supplies they can use to create materials for their campaign. School officials will approve all messaging, materials, and data collection activities.

Our Rainmakers Candidates conduct pre-campaign evaluations and then implement their project. Several months later, they conduct post-evaluations according to their administration-approved plan, calculate project impact or lack thereof, and theorize why they generated their good, bad or indifferent results.

Subsequently, our Rainmakers Candidates develop a presentation documenting their efforts, impact data, and discuss what worked and what did not. The best projects/presentation developed are reviewed and evaluated by judges from the business community in a competitive Impact Review. After the project is evaluated, team members evaluate each other’s performance on the project.

3. School | District Goal: Ensure students gain leadership skills.2022-05-07T00:56:14+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Practice Effective Leadership AND Followship Skills

In high schools, almost every student is encouraged to be a ‘leader’ in ways that might be appropriate to that individual. The word ‘follower’ has become an almost pejorative label. Leadership is important in business, but ‘followship’ is more important. There are always more followers than leaders, but even more critically, being a good follower is the only way an individual becomes a really good leader.

High-performing students assume they are good leaders but often don’t know how to support others, especially if those individuals are not as smart as they are. Students who feel they are mediocre often don’t want to be in the leadership spotlight.

Our Rainmakers Candidates learn and practice both leadership and followship skills as they cycle through each of those rolls as members of high-functioning, self-managing, accountable, competitive teams in our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP).

4. School | District Goal: Offer opportunities for participation in targeted and meaningful experiences to as many students as possible beyond top-tier performers.2019-08-06T21:40:13+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
We Serve All Students

Our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP) targets all students because virtually every teen sitting in classrooms today will become tomorrow’s workers. Thus, all students in schools that have adopted and are supporting our RIPP are welcome to participate.

In grade 8, students begin to build an understanding of what the world will expect from them through our First Rung classroom presentations and homework assignments, both aligned with academic standards.

In grades 9 and 10, students move into our Stormy Wannabees Advantage Initiative and have access to our G.R.I.T. curriculum, which includes an exciting, live, capstone exercise delivered by individuals trained by The Internship Depot in which all sophomores participate.

In grades 11 and 12, students begin the bulk of the work they will do to get ready to survive, and then succeed, in traditional or gig employment. They ‘officially’ become Rainmakers Candidates and learn and practice the skills and behaviors they need to be ready to join the Gig Economy before they graduate and where they can earn money for college, industry training, and other expenses.

5. School | District Goal: Improve student capacities to function in the world after high school.2022-05-07T00:59:46+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activities:
Compete for a Seat!
Race for a Place!

By any measure, today’s young adults will face two daunting challenges: securing appropriate post-secondary education (graduating from college or an industry credentialing program) and getting and keeping a job. These are the two ‘toughest games’ in which they will eventually compete, and knowing more about the underlying processes and rules behind each competition will help them succeed.

Compete for a Seat!
(simulating the college admissions process)
Race for a Place!
(simulating the employment process)

Our Stormy Wannabees Advantage Initiative (offered to students in grades 9 and 10) offers a fun, exciting, and informative capstone activity that offers sophomores the opportunity to play the role of college admissions officials deciding who gets admitted and who does not. We call it ‘Race for a Place!’

There is no better way to drive home an understanding of how to succeed in college admissions than working through that decision-making process as the decision-maker. Rainmaker Candidates (participating students) also learn how academic under-preparation in high school will cause them to spend more — much more — for college. If they are not academically prepared, they will have to pay for remedial courses in which they will learn material they could have learned in high school for free. They also learn how the decisions they make now may impact their employability and college admissibility.

We prefer to do this exercise early enough in students’ high school lives (the beginning of tenth grade) so they are more aware of the need to be academically and socially ready.

As part of the Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP), juniors take part in a simulated employment scenario where they play the roles of human resource managers making decisions about who gets hired and who does not.  This simulation helps them understand how employers think and what counts in making employment decisions. They learn the importance of academic knowledge and the need to develop the not-so-soft skills necessary for success in the work world. They also learn what NOT to do if they want to secure a good job as an adult.

6. School | District Goal: Engage influential adults in student messaging.2022-05-07T01:02:21+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Webinars and Teleconferences with Business People/College Officials

Throughout the Stormy Wannabees Advantage Initiative (grades nine and ten) and the Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (grades 11 and 12), participating students interact with business people who help them understand how employers think and what they expect from their employees. They also hear from college admissions officials who explain how to get into college — and out with a degree. And as a very worthwhile aside, students also learn to manage information gathering/sharing in the world of the teleconference, a tool used by business people every day.

7. School | District Goal: Ensure that students know that time and resource limitations cannot be used as excuses: constraints drive creativity.2022-05-07T01:04:39+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Rainmakers Design Challenge

An important work/life skill is making progress toward a goal regardless of available resources and opposing forces. In the Rainmakers Design Challenge, our Rainmakers Candidates work under a deadline with limited resources in small teams to ‘form’ a company, define a mission, develop a logo and tagline, and assume various roles within the company.

Student teams conceive and name a marketable product, fabricate a model of that product using limited materials, script and record a 60-second commercial, all under serious time constraints. They submit their final products to a panel of judges who select the winning team.

All this fun and excitement has a deeper motivation. We want to make sure that students know how to work in accountable, competitive teams. Few students come to the workplace prepared for the dichotomy of a work team. In school, every team member can get an ‘A’ because teachers judge students against a standard of performance. In work, team members are more often judged against each other, and everyone competes for limited resources (titles, salaries, bonuses, company cars, even bigger offices).

Thus, students learn that constraints cannot be excuses and stress cannot be allowed to impact professionalism.

8. School | District Goal: Students learn to effectively plan for their futures; now, and for the rest of their lives.2022-05-07T01:07:39+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Future View

Thousands of jobs – especially those requiring minimal skill levels – will be replaced by technology. There is no real way to prepare for that future other than to know it’s coming. And to learn to see around corners.

The way the most effective leaders begin to see around corners is to …. READ. Read everything and anything. Voraciously. Not everything a leader reads turns into gold, but if a leader doesn’t read, he or she will never even see the glint of what might be around the corner. And to LISTEN. Informative podcasts can be downloaded and are often packed with information that will help the Rainmaker see what others cannot. And LISTEN to others who don’t necessarily share your opinions.

And finally, THINK. Let your brain mull over problems for a while, and if you have built up your neural connections with challenging course work, your brain may just do the work for you!

Six carefully selected podcasts and various research papers, followed by subsequent discussions with experienced adults, will help students see how one can develop the ability to see around corners and prepare for constant change.

9. School | District Goal: Extend to students who lack financial resources opportunities to participate in the same extra-curricular activities that students with financial resources enjoy.2022-05-07T01:09:47+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity:
Every Student Can Be a Rainmaker

We offer our Rainmakers Program, as well as its eighth-grade introduction (The First Rung) and its underclassmen initiative, (The Stormy Wannabees Advantage) to all students in schools that have adopted and are supporting our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program. Our costs per student are lower than reasonable and we can advise on local fundraising efforts as necessary.

We offer students every opportunity to participate — multiple opportunities to login to our learning/training efforts in the evenings, email reminders about due dates, flexible internship schedules. To us, they are our customers, and we bend over backwards to make sure they all get to see and hear what we offer so they can be successful in their futures.

10. School | District Goal: Offer students opportunities that require them to leave their comfort zones, allow them to engage at an adult level, and provide them with tangible rewards.2022-05-07T01:11:19+00:00

Rainmakers Aligned Activity:
The Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program

After participating in all of our training and preparation exercises, students will be ready for the ultimate in applied learning: they will generate their own internship by ‘pitching’ their skills to employers. This short (two weeks), learning (unpaid), remote (students are never on the business site) internship mirrors the skills necessary to succeed in tomorrow’s workplace where traditional full-time jobs will be the exception and short-term ‘gigs’ will be the norm.

To be successful in that world, students have to start practicing today. Students need to be able to maneuver outside of their comfort zones, accept new responsibilities, and try to achieve success in a completely new and different kind of challenge. That’s what we ask of our Rainmakers Candidates now, so they know how to be successful as adults.

After our Rainmakers Candidates (participating upperclassmen) successfully complete their internship experience (documented by a letter of recommendation from their hosting employers), they ‘graduate’ from Rainmakers Candidates status to Rainmaker status.

As successful Rainmakers, students receive certificates of completion, letters of recommendation from leadership at the Internship Depot, and free lifetime memberships to The Rainmakers Club, an online community in which newly designated Rainmakers can begin building their professional networks and are offered other opportunities.

11. School | District Goal: Support community involvement in worthwhile projects.2019-09-06T01:19:07+00:00

Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program Aligned Activity
Support Community Involvement

The Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP) offers an unprecedented opportunity  for juniors and seniors to hear powerful messages from business people (who may also happen to be parents). In our experience, students really pay attention to advice presented to them by these knowledgeable and seasoned managers and entrepreneurs.

Not only can the school tap into adult expertise as Mentors for specific parts of our program, it is likely that these folks may also have some influence within their company to provide financial support for the ongoing deployment of RIPP.


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