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SUMMER INTERNS GAIN WORKPLACE EXPERIENCE

July 8, 2019

 

By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT

Rutherford County Schools

 

Jake Davenport’s grandmother was “not really expecting anything,” but thought it would be a good idea to sit her grandson down in front of a laptop.

 

He was only two-years-old.

 

The Davenports remember it as a funny story.

 

“My dad or my mom looked up and I’d almost wiped the hard drive because I just kept looking around,” recalled Davenport. “I was just kind of exploring.”

 

Nearly 15 years later, he’s still exploring.

 

Davenport was one of more than 50 interns participating in this year’s Rutherford Works High School Internship Program. He worked as a tech specialist at StoneCrest Medical in Smyrna.

 

Among the other interns representing Rutherford County Schools, Caroline Speights and Kate Blankenship spent the month interning at the Murfreesboro Water Resource Department.

 

“It’s been a lot of fun learning (about) general workflow,” Davenport said. “It’s really interesting finding out all of the actual practical issues behind the scenes.”

 

Davenport spent four weeks working Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

 

Much like doctors, each morning began with techs making daily rounds.

 

Davenport and other fulltime techs would walk the hospital floors and check with nurses to make sure all the computers were connected to the network and the systems were functioning normally. They troubleshoot potential problems and develop a general familiarity with everyone from the various staffs.

 

“Everybody kind of knows everybody around here,” Davenport said. “I’ll walk in, in the mornings, and say hi to Derek, who works at the front desk. He’s a pretty cool guy to talk to.”

 

Davenport learned the importance of everything from computers to cameras properly working, especially in a medical facility, because everything impacts patients.

 

“We’re talking about people’s health,” Davenport said. “It is imperative.”

 

He further explained, “Anything from the barcode scanners connect to the computer and it’s used to enter in patient information, double check what they are here for and to get medicine logged and to get exactly what they need down.”

 

Rutherford Works High School Internship Program is a partnership with employers who offer students productive and meaningful work assignments with a learning component ideally related to their area of interest.

 

The program provided rising seniors, who reside in Rutherford County, the opportunity to gain paid work experience with a Rutherford County employer in pathways that include agriculture, architecture and construction, business and finance, government and public administration, health sciences, hospitality and tourism, information technology, manufacturing, STEM and supply chain.

 

Students learned about and begin to develop 21st Century skills and competencies needed for success in the workplace. The duration was four weeks.

 

In addition to gaining work experience, students received four hours of pre-employment training and 16 hours of work-based learning.

 

Each intern was paid $10 per hour as well as earning great experience for their resume.

 

This was Davenport’s first experience in a professional environment.

 

He was in middle school when Davenport first discovered the ability to build personal computers. It was a discovery that piqued an interest that led to his own personal quest for more knowledge via watching YouTube videos and reading articles.

 

“I’m still trying to figure it out, honestly,” Davenport said. “I have a passion for information technology and just kind of computers and that sort of thing, but I also have a real knack for the engineering side of things.

 

“The applications of technology, being able to research all the different technologies that are available and then being able to tell a client, ‘OK, well, this is the type of technology you need for your use.’”

 

PHOTO PROVIDED