by Peter Bloch
Winterim, the one-week experiential learning period at OES, can be a very eye opening time for students. It allows people to try new things, travel to new places, and learn new skills that would be otherwise impossible to do during the school year.
My freshman year, I went around Portland with Robin Schauffler to do community service for the homeless in order to spread awareness, and help them get through the day. However, last year, I had the most intellectually stimulating and fun week of my life during Winterim. The program I took, was called Discovery.
The OES Discovery program is a five-day, 40-hour apprenticeship or career exploration open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Essentially, it is a job shadow of a career path that interests or fascinates you, and you learn the ropes of the working world and how a business works and operates. You can tailor your program to suit your needs and wants, and you can reach out to local companies to find a group that resembles a career path you would like to take.
Last year, I had an internship at Dark Horse Comics, the US’ third largest comic publishing company. They are known for publishing Hellboy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien vs. Predator, etc. Their company headquarters is in Milwaukie, Oregon, so every day that week, I went to work instead of school.
I began by meeting all the editors, sitting in for meetings, and learning the process of assembling issues and volumes. I was given jobs anywhere from helping organize personal promotional archives and running package slips to the different departments. I then helped check inventory and double checking the accounting process. On the last couple days, I was able to see early concept art from upcoming video games such as Recore, and the recently-released Uncharted 4, and finally the head of product design gave me an extra bronze-colored Pelican model from the Halo booth at San Diego Comic Con.
Overall, this was the best possible Winterim that could have occurred. As an avid reader of both science fiction and comic books, I thought this was a great opportunity to see how I could take my writing to a professional level. I had an incredible amount of fun and learned a lot from my experience, and I would recommend Discovery to anyone who would consider learning more about the working environment.
For more info, and how to apply, please contact Dana Mosher-Lewis or Corbet Clark. Also, please note that Discovery can be done at any time of the year, but it certainly can take the place of a Winterim. Here are some examples of Discovery projects from past years:
o Following a photojournalist
o Working with a fashion designer in a boutique
o Working as teachers’ aides at schools and daycares
o Translating documents for international companies
o Learning how to be a bike messenger
o Helping out in a children’s bookstore
o Helping with video productions
o Translating and imprinting subtitles on Japanese cartoons
o Working on political campaigns
o Assisting ski patrollers
o Proofreading copy and helping with layout for a newspaper
o Working with an improvisational comedian
o Working with studio and technical artists
o Working as technical assistant with a theater company
o Working in a winery in China
o Helping with museum tours and special events
o Working with an aviation company
o Helping in the kitchen at a pastry shop
o Working with a start-up online food retailer
o Working in the office of a Portland chiropractic practice & observing treatments
o Shadowing an anesthesiologist at a local hospital
o Working at a high-end antique store, refinishing furniture and washing statuary
o Setting up a volunteer program at a hospital in South Korea
o Assisting an equine veterinarian on her visits to farms and meets
o Working for a bilingual newspaper in Hong Kong
o Shadowing doctors and nurses – Legacy Good Sam Hospital, OHSU, Green Field Health
o Working in banking/finance
o Working with a footwear company
o Exploring The Internet of Things (China)
o Writing a blog for The News Lens (New York)
o Shadowing a senator (Washington DC)