Meet Paula Barlow, Senior at Water Canyon High School in Hildale, UT.
Paula Barlow is the first ever High School intern in the City of Hildale under the current internship structure, with Water Canyon High School and Hildale City/Colorado City employers.
Paula was recommended by her High School Counselor Wendee Wilkinson as an exceptional student with a lot of potential if given the right chance.
Paula eventually signed up for the washk12internship program with excitement, yet plenty of nerves. “It was nerve wracking at first, but now I know I don’t have to freak out about it. I know I can do this and have more confidence in myself when applying for work.” Paula recalled.
The program is the first of its kind for Water Canyon High School as they utilize the Department of Workforce Services (DWS) and community business partners.
Under its current structure, students are not guaranteed an internship because of its competitive nature. Employers agree only to interview the interns, but have no obligation to bring them on. Students must meet a standard of professional readiness and earn their spot.
To increase the student’s chance in obtaining an internship, DWS stepped up to offer their expertise in training & developing young talent, to raise the standard of intern readiness.
As Paula was asked if she felt the workshops with DWS were worth it, she quickly replied “Yes, I loved it! I didn’t know anything about cover letters and resumes”.
With no prior work experience and limited years of schooling, it was Kristin Hayward of DWS tapping into Paula’s grit and drive to succeed. Paula applied with 3 companies before finally landing her internship with the UEP Office.
The Internship has been a success for both sides as explained by her internship mentor, “Paula has been great, we are committed to help develop our local talent and give them a better chance to succeed. These internships are new for us, but it has been an unexpected blessing with our community image and we would love to have another intern next semester”.
Working with customers and dealing with the not so glamorous side that sometimes comes with customer service has developed Paula into a better employee. “It’s been a lot of fun, I’ve enjoyed the internship and I like it because I get to meet new people, and learn how to work with them when their upset” Paula said with a smiling face, as she reflected on how far she has come during the semester.
In the end, success comes from a community that rallies around the people. It’s counselors like Wendee Wilkson of Water Canyon High, Kristin Hayward of DWS and Lisa at the UEP office coming together for betterment of one student.
When asked about her future plans now, Paula replied “I’m thinking I’ll start at Mojave Community College because I know they can help me with some of the things I don’t have. Also, meet with DWS about applying for a grant. (While in College) I would love to work the front office somewhere and try to continue working in the business admin field until I graduate”.
Congratulations Paula on your successful internship experience and willingness to challenge yourself!
Erica was a perfect example of what we need in terms of skill set from our interns. We offered her employment for the summer and future opportunities if she would be interested.
Les is very polished and has good communication skills! If we have an opening we will hire her. She is that good!
Jayden is great and very creative. Good team player. He is so good we hired him!!!
Thomas has been an asset to the company. His day to day work has helped to relieve a portion of my own personal workload, and I have no worries when entrusting him with nearly any project.