"One of the most popular and rewarding educational experiences at Prairie"
Working in a medical lab. Hiking in the Southwest. Assisting with a medical research project. Brainstorming with an advertising agency. These are just a few of the countless opportunities available to upperclassmen each spring as part of Prairie’s Interim Program.
Interim guides students in the decision-making process of choosing a career. Professional choices in today’s world are an ever-changing spectrum ranging from the traditional to cutting-edge occupations. Interim opens the door to all the opportunities of the future by allowing students to step outside the classroom and into an immersive experience in the field of their interest. There is no better way for a student to realize the challenges, responsibilities, and rewards of a specific career than by taking an active role in the day-to-day activities of that profession. In the process, a student’s passion for a particular field can grow, be confirmed, or sometimes even lead the student to investigate other career options.
Prairie juniors devote two weeks at the end of the school year to Interim, when they engage in serious academic exploration and research career options as an intern. During this time, students do not attend their regular classes, and instead, take advantage of opportunities to explore careers or become involved in a community service activity.
For years, Interim has ranked as one of the most popular and rewarding educational experiences at Prairie, forging adaptable leaders who are well-prepared for lifelong success. We are proud to continue one of our most successful programs and are pleased to invite you to join us on this exciting adventure of discovery in the real world.
Click here to read more about the history of Interim, as described by one of its founders.
Program Dates & Deadlines
Interim for the 2019-20 school year will take place:
Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 – Friday, June 5th, 2020
Read firsthand what our students and alumni have gained from their Interim experience.
“I would say that this experience has impacted my interests in terms of what I want to study in college. Although I would love to be an actual journalist, I realize that it is a very, very time consuming job and one that can be hard to find a career in. Even though it would be great to be an actual sportscaster or journalist of some kind, I would be happy just to work for a television studio/company. I think if I studied Communications and Computer Science, that would do wonders as those two are very related, especially now and in the future, and so they could be useful to get a job working in television.”
“While I am still not sure about my future career path, this interim experience did open up my eyes to the real world of business, which is not even close to what you see in the movies. I had never really known what business was all about, so these past two weeks have been very informative.”
“If there is one thing that I have learned from my interim experience, it is that I will never work in any field relating to food. There is an unbelievable amount of work that goes into everything in a kitchen, and I don’t think I would survive. Getting started in any kitchen would be horrible, as I’ve experienced. Peeling potatoes will become part of your everyday routine, especially if you are preparing to feed a lot of people. For large events, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be making chicken and potatoes. I could honestly be the best potato peeler in the state at this point.”
Ellie Plachinski, '16
“In the words of Stephen Hawking, “one is always a long way from solving a problem until one actually has the answer.” This quotation effectively communicates the essence of scientific research, and the two weeks I spent in Dr. Higgs’s lab at Parkside. Even in the two weeks I saw my efficiency grow, and if that would transfer, AP Chemistry labs would be significantly less stressful. Overall, interim was a good experience, in all ways. Did it open more questions than it closed, regarding the future? Yes. Did the penultimate experiment fail? Also yes. That’s a common theme in science… one that I’m perfectly okay with.”
“Honestly I learned so much from my time at the Eco-J that I couldn’t possibly tell you all of it, but the some of the more important things I learned were the value of hard work, the importance of caring for and respecting the earth and the plants, animals, people and other things in it, and the importance of educating people to make earth a better more sustainable place.”
Zack Higgs, '16
“While shadowing five engineers at Motorola I gained a new positive perspective of engineering in the real world. Overall I took away a positive experience from my time at Motorola, where I was able to learn new concepts, and gain insights from professionals that invent every day. Over the course of two weeks I spent a total of five work days with two audio engineers, two antenna engineers, a mechanical engineer, and finally a camera engineer.I think my interim differed from a lot of others, because of my access into different departments and disciplines within Motorola which only engineers and executives are typically allowed access to. I had to sign a form that stated that I would not talk about some of the details about their new products, and I felt very privileged to be taken serious as a high school student in such a prestigious business place.”
“In terms of influence on my collegiate course of study, my interim experience only reinforced the fact that I want to study film and cinematography during college and then pursue that as an occupation afterwards…I always wanted to go into film and thanks to Kimberly, Dave, Jon, and Meg, I have more drive to do so than ever before. Now that I am done with interim I honestly cannot wait to study film as a primary course, instead of just as a hobby like it is right now. This is how my interim experience has influenced my plans for college and which studies I want to pursue.”
“The first thing I noticed that I was getting good at was the way I could actually name the specific type of tree. Before this journey of marshland restoration I had absolutely no idea what tree looked like what. Now, after all the repetition of tree planting, the tree types have been seared into my brain.”
Alyssa Curty, '16
“Before interim, my knowledge of the courtroom came from reading John Grisham novels and watching Law and Order, but I have now gained valuable insight into the application of the law and the judicial process. Will I be a criminal attorney? A month ago, I’d have said no way [but now] it is comforting to know that criminal defense is a viable career option for me that I have not ruled out.”
“Honestly, my interim was life-changing. I requested Dr. Stone because I was interested, but also as a last-minute test to see if I wanted to go into medicine. I thought I was going to hate it but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I always loved the concept of medicine, but I didn’t realize until now that I enjoy the physical aspect of it as well. It seems very satisfying to be able to clear a person’s arteries and give them a better quality of life.”
Ciera Sieber, '16
I overall have been so grateful for my Interim (s). I think that this is a terrific program and it has really helped me decide what I want to do later in life! I applied to my college undecided because I was torn between nursing and education, but after this experience I know that I want to be a nurse someday. It is a great feeling!
“I really enjoyed my time at Little Saints for many different reasons, but mostly because I simply love kids. I can thank Little Saints for many things, but first on that list would be for finalizing the thoughts I already had on what career path for me to choose. I can only hope that I will be able to do what I love to do in my life, and never truly ‘work’ for a single day.”
“Another thing that was really special to me about my experience was the kids. I know I wrote about this in my journal, but its worth mentioning here as well. I had the opportunity to shadow a doctor into a patient visit with a child who had a possible learning disability. The doctor introduced me as a student just trying to get a feel for the medical field and what its like. The mom was very accepting and smiled and me. The doctor finished the exam and as we were leaving the little kids said, “Follow your dreams.” I know it’s cheesy but this really affected me. I realized that I want to help kids get better when they are sick. Pediatrics is one of the only fields of medicine where a kid can say that to you and it’s a normal day. That’s what I love about pediatrics.”
“The Prairie School is unique in so many different ways, but the thing I am always going to remember is my internships my junior and senior year. For my internships I shadowed and assisted an athletic trainer and physical therapist. My experiences as an intern has allowed me to be confident in knowing that in the fall of this year, I would like to study to be both an athletic trainer and physical therapist at Concordia University Wisconsin.”
“During my interim, I got to experience a little bit of library life as well as directing/organizing an event. I also worked with the publicity side on social media and through contacting radio stations, newspapers, and tv shows for interviews. I like both the behind the scenes and the event itself. I’m not saying that I want to become an event planner, but if I ever decide to start my own business or have to manage myself, I wouldn’t mind doing the behind the scenes work.”