Every year, St. Martin’s Episcopal School sends the freshman class out into the world to experience real work environments. Freshman Shadow Day happens once a year, and each ninth- grader is to intern for the day with an adult of their choosing.
“I spent the day at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science, and I have to say that it was a very memorable experience,” said Freshman Nicholas Manning. “It helped me with a lot of critical thinking skills.”
Students spent their day doing work with the people they shadowed and learned what it was like to have a job and what a normal day consists of.
“In the afternoon, I worked with the ichthyologists there on sorting different fish species from local streams and the Mississippi area,” Manning said. “The data collection was in 2001, and I was in charge of sorting 14 different species of minnows, darters, and catfish. I definitely enjoyed my day and learned something.”
Other students had more nontraditional jobs, but nonetheless, they still learned information about different professional fields.
“With (Comedian) John Byer, we watched silly YouTube videos all day,” said Freshman Tanner Sykes. “Somewhere in all the silly YouTube videos, I got some sage advice about comedy and writing in general. Despite how it sounds like I did not do a lot, I learned a lot through osmosis I guess, about editing and writing and how aggressive the comedy industry can be. I really feel enlightened.”
Giving the students the ability to choose where they want to intern lets them pick a field that they are interested in pursuing a career in. Freshman Beau Lawrence shadowed his uncle and learned all about the world of varmint control.
“I went to my uncle’s plantation, and we rode around on four-wheelers, shot snakes and stuff, and checked some crawfish ponds,” Lawrence said. “I learned that varmint control is very important, and you must shoot all the bad stuff.”
With the many different experiences it offers, Freshman Shadow Day is a way for freshmen to begin to think about their futures in the professional world. It helps prepare them for their two-week-long senior internships; college internships; and in the end, life.