Beyond the Classroom
Three International High School students share their impressions of the off-campus internships
they undertook this past year.
Alessandro Prospato joined Interna- tional High School from Prospect Sierra in August of 2014. He is one of eight students in the internship rogram, spearheaded by Amanda Patterson, which provides hands-on business learning experiences. In the
following interview, Alessandro discusses his experience as an intern over February break at San Francisco
Why did you target San Francisco magazine?
I live in the East Bay and thought of it as a way to get to
know the city more. And I realized that San Francisco
magazine didn’t have a section geared towards teenagers, so I thought that might be an option for them to
Tell us about your experience.
During my week there, I shadowed the marketing and
sales team, I sat in meetings, and mostly worked with
their social media component—how to improve their
Twitter and Instagram pages. For example, they have
this hashtag that they always use on their Instagram
page: #thetruesf. So I came up with the idea that for
the hashtag, they can start an ad campaign where for a
month people post pictures and tag what really is the
epitome of San Francisco living to them. At the end of
the month they raffle off tickets to one of their events.
And the person who has the best picture wins.
What did you learn?
I got better insight into what it is to work at a job. With
a magazine, it’s always glorified in movies and TV
shows to be this intimidating place of high fashion and
this and that. I would say I learned what it is to have a
9 to 5 job. I think it’s better than school!
I would say that one thing I couldn’t learn in a classroom that I got from my week there would be sitting in
on meetings. During my stay, their main rival said that
they were going to stop doing print. So that meant all of
these ad dollars that San Francisco magazine didn’t have
before were now possibly up for grabs.
What did you learn in class that helped you during the
I would say that the main things the classroom taught
me—and really just the atmosphere of our school—was
how to act in a professional setting. So the right manners
and what to do if you don’t have anything to do. You
don’t want to be constantly bugging the person you’re
shadowing. Also, Amanda—who is the head of our internship program—told us the etiquette before we went
on our internships.
What would you tell a student looking to intern?
I would say don’t be intimidated. I think the word
“internship” is used in such a professional manner.
College kids are going to go on an internship during
their summer and then they’re going to start work.
But really, it’s more of a learning experience. I think it’s
good to go to a company before you’re in college and a
grown adult and you really have to start thinking about
that. Just having the experience and sitting-in really
contributes to your view as a person. It was a good
experience and I really enjoyed it.
Katie Prevost, Marketing Director at San Francisco
magazine, praised Alessandro’s participation in the
program. “Alessandro went above and beyond to listen,
learn, brainstorm, and collaborate with our team. His
questions were always relevant and insightful. He is
easily already competitive with the college interns who
come on board as part of our summer intern program.”
Freshman Leaves Imprint in Print