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My Experience as an Extern: New England Boarding School

Stella describes her externship experience at a Connecticut boarding school.

Stella describes her externship experience at a Connecticut boarding school.

One of the most unique experiences that Carleton offers is our externship program. An “externship,” or experiential internship, is a 1 to 3 week internship opportunity offered by a Carleton alum exclusively to current Carleton students.

One of the many benefits of our trimester system is the extended winter break that we get—we leave campus prior to Thanksgiving and don’t return until the new year. This leaves students plenty of time to destress from a trimester, get holiday employment, and even participate in one of the 200+ externships.

Last winter break, I decided to take advantage of our externship program. As someone who is potentially interested in education I wanted to be able to dip my toes into that line of work. And that’s exactly what I did. I was given the opportunity to teach at a small boarding school in Connecticut: Pomfret School. Funny enough, one of my closest friends here at Carleton attended Pomfret. It was very fun to be able to meet the people who taught him in high school. In this blog post I reflect on my time at this school and run you through a day in the life of my externship.

flight window
A view from outside my morning flight to Boston!


For the job aspect of my externship, I served as a student teacher at the high school. I went through the school day as any other teacher would, “teaching” 5 classes with a prep period and a lunch break. I got to observe the teachers in many different subjects, as well as teach a few classes myself. My favorite classes to teach were the criminology and constitutional law classes, as they related most clearly to my studies in political science and political psychology. Ultimately, I gained a lot of knowledge when it came to how to operate a classroom of many students, a difficult task with high schoolers. 

dog in hallway
Apparently it’s normal to have dogs in the school hallways? At Pomfret they’re always wandering around.


Sometimes, when a Carleton alum offers you to come to their work and serve as an extern, they also offer to house you for the time that you are there. I was fortunate enough to get this free housing as well as free meals every day through the dining hall. Brian Geyer ‘97 and his family were kind enough to host both me and another extern for the three week period, and incorporated us into their lifestyle. I am very appreciative for every opportunity the Geyer’s provided me with and for their hospitality.

Outside the Office

On the weekends or other days off, I got to go out and explore a little bit of New England which was new for me. I got in the car and drove for hours until I hit the ocean, and it was so worth it. On one occasion, I walked around Newport Rhode Island and ended up getting lost with a dead phone in a city I’d never been to before. However, when I found my way back to the car I got some amazing seafood and journeyed back home. While scary, travel has always exhilarated me. Being in a new environment was just another adventure, one which created a lasting memory.

view from newport
Newport is a wealthy city with large mansions on the oceanfront.

Stella (she/her) is a rising Junior from Minneapolis, MN. She is a Political Science major with minors in SpanishNeuroscience, and Public Policy. Stella is a member of our varsity volleyball team and can explain at length how being an athlete is just one part of her identity at Carleton, not all of it. Around campus, you can find Stella having fun with her coworkers in Admissions, hammocking in the Arb (when it’s not cold), or hanging around in Sayles. She loves to explore the town of Northfield, and tries to find new places to visit as often as possible – especially for some good eats.