The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

MSPA Taps Parent Network for New Internship Program

Staff illustration: Amber More
Amber More
Staff illustration: Amber More

By getting rid of self-guided junior MTerm projects, the Menlo administration has instead given the class of 2025 a new opportunity for MTerm education. Among other MTerm choices, like Menlo Abroad trips, juniors can apply to internships hosted by Menlo parents. These internships will take place over the two-week MTerm period and into the summer. According to Upper School Director John Schafer, these internship opportunities are meant to give Menlo juniors real-world experience that will serve them beyond graduation. Schafer also believes the program was designed to take advantage of the business connections Menlo families have by putting them to use in a way that benefits students.

“There’s so much that can be learned from just jumping into the workplace,” Jon Sakoda, Menlo parent and founder of venture capital firm Decibel Partners, said. Sakoda, among other Menlo parents, will host Menlo juniors in internship positions this summer through Menlo’s new internship program. For Menlo juniors, the internship program is one option for an MTerm experience that is replacing self-guided, junior MTerm projects. “What we are offering is so much better,” Schafer said.

Juniors partaking in this program will spend varying amounts of time doing tasks for the host organizations which work in various disciplines, ranging from the creative arts to biological sciences. This way, students have the chance to explore workplaces focused on their specific interests.

Schafer explained that another goal of the program is to make the intern application process less complicated for students, meaning that when students are hired for these internships, they are guaranteed impactful work rather than just coffee runs. According to Schafer and the internships page on the Menlo website, Menlo juniors should first select an internship and complete an interest form. From there, the host organizations will select an applicant for the position. The program also plans to offer juniors workshops in resume writing, cover letter writing and interview preparation to further the learning experience.

The program was largely designed and created by the Menlo School Parent Association. Some of the MSPA members who worked through the logistics before going to Head of School Than Healy and Schafer included parents Arnab Mishra, Reema Shah and Sunil Dhaliwal. According to Mishra, after getting approval from Healy and Schafer, the parents put together a team of volunteers to execute the program. This team then reached out to Menlo parents seeking interested hosts.

According to Menlo parent and founder of UW Innovations Shannon Clark, her first high school intern in 2015 was a student from Menlo, and with the ability to teach an intern about the science behind the business, she was able to strengthen the company’s impact and story. “This summer I’m hoping to share my excitement of founding a new organization focused on preventing homelessness in the Bay Area. This will be a unique opportunity for a student to immerse in social issues important in our society today in a safe and productive manner,” Clark said.

Sakoda also plans to host Menlo juniors who will assist Decibel Partners by researching trends in AI and keeping up with AI-related news. Sakoda believes that this internship will benefit the intern by helping them understand preferences like the kinds of people they work best with and the kinds of work that most interest them. Beyond that, Sakoda also believes in the ability of Menlo students to assist Decibel in their cause.

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Caroline Clack, Video Editor

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 2

Favorite aspect of journalism: Seeing all of our finished stories in print/online and definitely the CoA community of writers and editors

Interests outside of school: mock trial, soccer, & spending time with friends/family

Class of 2026

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 1

Favorite aspect of journalism: watching everything come together from the first draft to print

Interests outside of school: rock climbing, Pop Culture, and Formula 1

Class of 2025

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