Q&A with Robin Roth

Casey Nguyen, In-Depth Editor

Q: What is the difference between an internship and a job?
A: An internship can really be any volunteer work and isn’t always necessarily paid. Sometimes it is. So, it is all up to the individual internship if you get paid or not. Generally speaking, an internship is a volunteer job. This is because, at this time in your life as high school student, you really has no skills or experience, so why would they pay you?
Also depending on where you’re interning at, they all have different responsibilities for the interns. But usually it is making coffee and making copies on the copy machine for the actual employees. A job, however, is always paid. Similar to an internship, you have responsibilities and you have duties that you have to do.

Q: What are the benefits of taking up a job or an internship?
A: It depends on if you want to get a snapshot of what a particular profession looks like. So, you can get an internship in that profession and get the feel for what is going on in the office and field of work. The internship can also help you look at the duties that the people, who are in the profession, have and then determine if you want to be in it as well. So, yes an internship can be very beneficial, but it is not necessarily going to give you any skills.
A job can be very beneficial as well. It shows colleges that you have earned money, that you are responsible and so much more. Even if it is a life guarding situation like over the summer or working in a smoothie shop, and all that kind of stuff, it still benefits you a lot. Working for someone and working with others at a job will give you some skills.

Q: Would you say that it is better to have a job than to do extracurricular activities at school, like sports for example?
A: No, I would not say it is better, but it’s along the same line. I think that all of those things are good and you should pursue them while you are in high school. You know, all of those things you can do at the same time. Also, sports is not going to take up all summer. So, you can take up a part-time job during the summer. But it really just depends on the individual.

Q: How do you personally help students find jobs?
A: I give information to students about people who want to hire, but it really is from all over the county. Sometimes, it is not necessarily close by. Our students seem to have an issue with transportation. For example, a student can have a job in Herdon, which will be very difficult for our students to get to. Generally speaking, most can get a bus pass, which the whole county has for an opportunity for students. However, sometimes the bus can take too long. So, yes I do have some information on some jobs. They can come to me and ask. But, I also refer students to the Skills Source Center her at the school. It is in room 136 and is an excellent place for students to find work locally.

Q: What are some tips that you have for preparing for their interview and writing resumes?
A: Well, most students are not required to write a resume because they don’t really have a lot of skills or exposure. If they do,they can put their community service. We can certainly build one from the templates off of Microsoft Word. Those are good. I also have some books on that as well. For the interview, my advice is to dress nicely and professionally. Don’t wear your torn jeans. Wear a collared shirt, just make sure you are presented nicely. Smile and shake their hand too. Also, don’t be on your phone and those kinds of things.

Q: Do you think it’s better for students to focus on their schoolwork and classes, or focus on getting money from their jobs?
A: I think that school is your first job as a student and that it the most important job you have now. If you do want a job, you have to make sure that are doing okay or well right now in school. I would say anyone lower than a 3.0 GPA should concentrate on their schoolwork because school is the first priority. Perhaps they can save the job and working for the summertime when they do not have school.