Volunteer Involvement: Attention Business People!
We need your help to make this work!
We need you to manage one or more of our Rainmaker Interns. It’s no more than a few hours of your time over a 14-day period. And if you can’t afford to spend that much time, read on to see how you can do less and still help us produce a more work-ready young adult.
Our students have been well-prepared to serve an internship as a result of our five-year workforce preparation program, which we start in Grade 8 and continue through senior year in high school. We use only small pieces of time during those years because teens have busy lives and their primary focus has to be on their academics. We build up to a capstone effort in senior year, when students must seek, solicit, secure, and serve an internship — a Rainmakers Internship.
Our Rainmakers internships are short (2 weeks or 14 non-consecutive days), remote (never on the business site) and instructional (unpaid so host employers can teach and mentor rather than demand performance against a budget expenditure).
During that internship, we need one or more volunteers from the Host business to ‘manage’ the student intern as he or she defines and delivers a product or process that might be of interest to the business (although not likely to be actually usable by the Host company).
We need small amounts of volunteer time (no funding necessary, but appreciated) to help guide and mentor our participating students to successful completion of a their internships. Once a Rainmakers Candidate recruits a business that will ‘host’ the internship experience, an individual from that company will ‘manage’ the Candidate during the two-week internship he or she will serve, and critique the product/project submitted at the end of the Rainmakers Internship. We estimate that a Rainmaker Internship Host will need to devote no more than 10 hours over the duration of the student’s two-week experience.
To protect everyone involved with our experiences, no intern ever meets with a business volunteer (Mentor or Manager) in-person. All interactions between business volunteers (Mentor or Manager), and participating students (who must be 18 years of age prior to contacting a potential business Host) are conducted via conference call or webinars that have multiple participants. All written communication is done via email (never text message — phone numbers are never exchanged) with copies going to The Internship Depot Site Director, who will be selected by the participating school district.
While managing a Rainmakers intern, we ask our Host/manager to deal with the intern as if he/she were an external consultant with whom a supervisor would need to discuss the project at the beginning of the internship, occasionally confer over the 14-day time period, evaluate the proposal/product/process upon submission on the due date, and generally interact with the Rainmakers candidate as appropriate.
At the end of the allocated time and submission of the finished product (via email copied to the participating school’s Site Director), the volunteer Manager will also send a letter of recommendation if the student has earned said reward. The interaction participating students will have with experienced adults who are willing to share their wisdom will be deep, meaningful, and may help those students make decisions that will positively affect them for the rest of their lives.
Our volunteers can also become part of an ongoing professional online network (The Rainmakers Club) that will serve them for years.
If you cannot give up that much time, you can assign the mentorship opportunity to a young employee itching to flex his/her fledgling management muscle. Involvement in our programs is a great way to build brand recognition and support local high school endeavors.
Alternately, we have other ways for business volunteers to get involved that should take less time than mentoring an intern — no more than an hour or two as opportunities arise and fit into your free time.
Check out alternate volunteer opportunities in the bulleted list at the bottom of the page.
Don’t Miss This Additional Information:
Bring Your Wisdom … and Fast Feet
We will also deliver a series of free-wheeling telephonic consulting sessions that will ‘bring the real’ to participating students as we:
- discuss their résumés by showcasing anonymous examples of good vs. bad documents and defining what makes one fly and the other not,
- mock telephone interviews using some willing senior who has the courage to attempt such a thing,
- mock business calls that show students how to network, and
- open question sessions where students can ask anything that comes to mind.
Each of these exercises will have a rather large live audience and will
Here Comes the Judge
We run many competitive events throughout the year for our Rainmakers Candidates and we invite business people in to select winning teams from our various events. After a few preliminary elimination rounds conducted by teachers and The Internship Depot staff, we convene a panel of judges to decide which team of …
- eighth graders produced the best video commercial promoting hard work in hard courses,
- freshmen designed the best new toy and accompanying marketing campaign,
- sophomores produced the best set of technical directions to make a replica of an unknown object,
- seniors unfurled the best social marketing campaign with data revealing impact.
And other fun stuff like that!
Open Their Eyes
Short presentations from knowledgeable adults will help our Candidates understand what the world of work will expect of them. Employees from a variety of companies — sole proprietorships, large corporations, and non-profit organizations with social missions — will help participating students understand how the business world operates and learn how employers think.
Come Down Off the Ledge
Volunteer business people will serve as consultants and cheerleaders as they answer key questions from students who have already started serving their internships.
Some students may have encountered problems or issues that they don’t know how to handle. A few well-placed sentences from an experienced manager will help students already serving internships repair their battered egos and bring their internship to a successful conclusion.
Position Your Young Employees as Future Leaders
Our Rainmakers Candidates (participating students) will also hear from young professionals (both white- and blue-collar) who will share their experiences as a newbie in the world of work.
We want our participating high school students to hear what it took for young adults not much older than their listeners to get to where they are.
What the World of Work Will Expect
Students participating in our Rainmakers Internship Preparation Program (RIPP) will be able to join a series of teleconferences and webinars with experienced business people who will discuss wide-ranging workforce and education issues, such as what they look for in a new hire, how important an academic or industry credential is, what it means to have ‘grit,’ what it takes to get into a college, university, or trade school, and many more topics that connect work with their lives as high school students.