Latitude students get a chance to try out their futures

Internships begin April 18

Alfeu Clements, Legacy Reporter

Student Interns

Latitude is launching its first junior internships program this Spring.

Ms. Kibos Buscovich is the school community and business partner’s lead who is organizing the program, but it hasn’t been easy.

Kibos Buscovich

“Because of Covid, we only have a couple of months to do this,” she said. “So props to us that we are doing this in an extremely short time.”

Despite challenges, the month-long program begins starting April 18.

The program is built on Latitude’s mission statement: “We use the Bay Area as our extended classroom, integrating the places, people, and resources of our community into our studies.”

Student interns will have opportunities to learn about important experiences. The program will also allow them to explore the options and resources available to them in the community. Latitude hopes they will use these to begin building the paths for future careers.

An important part of the program will be opening up networks for students to grow and succeed.

“The networking piece is expanding students’ networks with professionals and potential mentors, and ultimately expanding student sense of identity,” said Ms. Kibos.

It’s also okay for student interns who still feel unsure about what careers they’ll plan on entering later. Ms. Kibos said that the program is a great opportunity for students to find and build on their interests.

“It doesn’t have to be like a slam dunk experience per se, but maybe they also identify with a specific aspect of that job or that work environment that they like and that they want to continue to look for in future work and experiences.”

Student leadership is key to the program, she said. They get to choose their own internship paths.

“We really wanted it to be student-led and so students are identifying what their interests and passions are,” said Ms. Kibos.

Students will be connected to personal mentors so they’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot from individual instruction.

What work will students have to put in during the internship period? Some of that answer depends on what students choose for their internship.

“They’re going to do a weekly blog post about their experience and link back to their digital portfolio. So that’s something that will document in the four-week internship. They also might have project deliverables with their own mentor,” said Ms. Kibos.

Mike Venturino

Mentor Mike Venturino is a retired airline pilot. He has a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering.  “I decided I wanted to be a flight instructor. I enjoyed showing people the craft of flying,” said Mr. Venturino.

Now he’s giving students at Latitude a jumpstart into a career working with airplanes. “Currently I teach flying part-time and I’m doing volunteer work like this,” said Mr. Venturino.

Mr. Venturino mentions that changes to safety rules for flight instruction mean he won’t be flying with students. “Now that type of process is less possible,” said Mr. Venturino.

Still, students will be getting hands-on, engaging learning experiences. “We can work on my own personal airplane, to make it accessible for mechanics and certify that it’s safe to fly. And in the process of doing that, we can discuss what all the parts do.” 

“I teach in a flight school and I’ll talk to a couple of instructors who will be working during the time of the internship. So students can watch them do their preflight briefings, watch them do their lessons on the ground, and watch the post-flight. You can observe and be a part of the procedure to make training safe and effective,” said Mr. Venturino.

There are important lessons students can learn from the internship. “You have to be attentive to risks. Not being attentive to the risks could have serious consequences,” said Mr. Venturino.

Mr. Venturino said he hopes that students coming out of the internship will learn to take their work seriously and do their best at it. “Apply a professional attitude toward what you do. And that requires a higher level of performance,” said Mr. Venturino.

“You need your A-game when you go to work. If you can’t bring your A-game, sometimes that’s okay. . . Now you know what to do tomorrow,” said Mr. Venturino.

Ninth and tenth graders can also prepare for their upcoming internships.

“Identify some things that you would be interested in, like genuinely pursuing and maybe doing some research or taking a summer class or finding ways to connect to those industries and careers,” said Ms. Kibos.

These are the so-far confirmed programs for this year that 9th and 10th graders can look forward to interning for in the future:

  • California Airways (Flight School)
  • Pinpoint Training
  • Berkeley Animal Shelter
  • UC Department of Paleontology
  • Girls Leadership
  • Team Inc
  • Caldo Restaurant Technologies
  • Mystery Cuts Barbering
  • My Groove Design Consulting Firm
  • The Crucible
  • Oakland Roots Soccer Club (Training Facility)
  • Izo Creative (Video Content Creation)
  • Plaza Veterinary Hospital
  • Families In Action
  • Education for Change
  • Artthaus Studios