Tell us a bit about you, your school and internship program.
My name is Tamasa Pinkerton and I am the Internship Coordinator and School Counselor at Nashville Big Picture High School in Nashville, Tennessee. This is my third year serving in this position. We currently have around 135 students enrolled and each student is expected to gain meaningful internships. Our students attend their internship on Tuesday and Thursday for 5.5 hours per day. Students are given the opportunity to pursue internships related to their passions and future career goals.
How do you use ImBlaze to support your program?
ImBlaze supports our internship program in different ways. First, we use the program as a database to house all of our past and current internships. Students then search ImBlaze to see what opportunities are available to them. Secondly students are allowed to assist us in building our database by suggesting new internship opportunities that are not already available. Lastly, we rely on ImBlaze for student attendance on internship days. This allows us to have accurate daily attendance that can be shared with students, advisors, and parents if attendance issues arise. All students are required to download the app and check in and out.
How has ImBlaze impacted how you support getting students out into real-world learning experiences?
When I first started at Nashville Big Picture High School we were using an excel sheet to track and list student internships that only staff members could review. Since we have started using ImBlaze students now have the opportunity to take on the ownership searching for viable internships related to their passions. ImBlaze has allowed us to streamline how and when our students are able to pursue and start internships. It allows me the ability to review all student internships in one location by student or advisor. We have the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with students about whether an internship will be a good fit and ImBlaze allows students to set goals during the setup and on a daily basis when they check into their internships.
Student internship story: Elizabeth Avrit, a junior student at Nashville Big Picture High School.
How did you get your internship? Getting my internship was no easy task. I called Tucker Photography and was told to call back next Tuesday at 9:30. I had decided I would do whatever it took to get this internship. When I called back, I was told the boss wanted to meet and talk for 10 minutes Friday afternoon. After having an abbreviated conversation with him, I was invited to stay for the next photo session. Right then and there, I fell in love with my internship.
How is your internship related to your passion or future career goals? I have always been interested in photography but have never had the opportunity to practice it. My internship at Tucker photography is allowing me to experience what is like in the photography field. When I get older, I would love to do photography as a side job and passion.
What you do at your internship? At my internship I do a little bit of everything. When I first started, I was assisting my mentor outside during photoshoots: placing lights, positioning client’s hair, and making them smile. Now, I am working inside the studio editing and fulfilling orders.
How you have grown? I have grown in many different ways throughout my internship. Not only have I learned skills to use in the photography field, but also in my daily life. I have learned how to communicate more effectively and be more professional.