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Local Partnerships Elevate Country Day's Senior Externship Program

Recently, 134 seniors participated in our Senior Externship Program, a one-day job shadowing and mentoring experience that exposes students to opportunities that match their interests and connects them to local employers and organizations.

Since the program’s inception in 2017, Country Day has partnered with nearly 175 area employers in 20 different industries. This year, our seniors were paired with nearly 75 Charlotte-area employers, mostly current and past Country Day parents and alumni.

"Through the Senior Externship, our students immerse themselves in real-life scenarios, fostering connections with our community,” said Dean of Students and Externship Coordinator Natalie Hutchinson. “It's heartening to witness parents, alumni, and friends of the school plan innovative and enjoyable avenues for seniors to learn about professions and embrace learning beyond the conventional classroom. I'm truly grateful for our community's eagerness to generously share their time, skills, and enthusiasm."

We asked a few students to share their Senior Externship experiences:

Grace Mahaffey, For Goodness Cakes, Entrepreneurship

“I have been interested in entrepreneurship since I was in Middle School, and I took an entrepreneurship class fall semester of my senior year that taught me a lot about the basics of business in a hands-on way. During my externship with alumna Haines Barksdale ‘97, owner of For Goodness Cakes – a local cake shop, I saw many of the things I learned in class come to life.

I was able to see her process for completing a cake order and prepping for a class. First, we made a shopping list and went to a chef's store where we purchased ingredients for the cakes. Then we spent the day baking cakes for a class that she would be teaching. We looked at her calendar of upcoming orders and she taught me about the costs that go into fulfilling orders as a small business. I got to see how she reviewed her Profit and Loss statements, showed me how she files taxes, and shared her recipe books as well as her sheets for past and upcoming orders. While Mrs. Barksdale taught me how to bake some of her cakes, which are delicious by the way, we talked about why she wanted to open For Goodness Cakes. She told me that owning a business must come from passion.

My externship experience gave me clarity on what I may want to do in the future. I am thankful for this opportunity to meet and work with Mrs. Barksdale because I now have a contact should I ever need help or advice with potentially opening a business in the future.”

Founder Sport Group, Manufacturing

Seniors at Founder Sport Group

Seniors Josh Porter, Haley Ray, Jack Cooper, Stephen Whittaker

Four seniors were paired with John Anton, Country Day parent and CEO of Founder Sport to learn about manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of high-performance uniforms and fanwear for athletic teams nationwide. From touring the warehouse to testing products and packaging inventory to digital marketing, designing websites, and implementing Artificial Intelligence into marketing, students learned the ins and outs of manufacturing. “I was surprised by the number of details and steps it took to create one piece of clothing and perfect it,” said senior Stephen Whitaker. “I enjoyed being behind the scenes to see how much work goes into a company that the consumer doesn’t typically see.”

Capitol Boutique and Poole Shop, Retail Fashion

Senior Externship

Maisie Collins and Anne Lee Vaughn

"Externing at Capitol Boutique, along with its partner store, the Poole Shop, was an extremely enjoyable and valuable experience. We were set up with a neatly organized schedule that allowed us to experience each facet of Capitol and the Poole shop—from sales to buying to social media management. We were able to learn about both brands, as well as the nuances that make each store unique. Especially fascinating was the vision behind the Capitol company—Laura Vinroot, the owner and founder, keeps her mission of developing meaningful relationships with her customers close at heart, and each shopper is treated with individualized love and care. This peek into the world of marketing and management, as it pertains to fashion, was both informative and inspiring, and we left feeling equipped to tackle the world of career selection in the not-too-distant future." 

Thank you to these organizations for their partnership and participation:

Alexander Ricks PLLC
Ally Financial
Athlete By Design
Atrium Health
Atrium Health Levine Children's Hospital
Atrium Health University Pediatrics
Atrium Health Scope Anesthesia of North Carolina
Avolta Development
Bank of America
Benoit Law Firm
BNA CPAs & Advisors
Brooke Adler Interiors
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
Burrow, Welchel, Culp Orthodontics
BWM Wealth Strategies
C Design Inc.
Capitol Boutique
Carolinas Center for Oral and Facial Surgery
Carolinas Skin Center
CaroMont Heart & Vascular
Charlotte Country Day School
Child Life, Therapeutic Play and Consulting LLC
Cliff C Smith DDS PA
Collett Capital
Corcoran HM Properties
CWG Design
Dermatologic Surgery of the Carolinas
East Coast Entertainment & Middle C Jazz
Elite Functional Performance
Federal Aviation Administration (Air Force)
Fifth Third Bank
For Goodness Cakes, LLC
Founder Sport Group
Gita Sporting Goods/Giordana Cycling
Graper Harper Cosmetic Surgery
Great Southern Bank
Harker, LLC
Hatcher Law Group
Helen Adams Realty
HighPoint Solutions Inc
Kimmery Fleischli, Author
Learning Charms
Madison Capital Group
Miller-Hogue Law Firm
MPV Properties, LLC
North Corner Haven
Nourish Up
Novant Outpatient Imaging Center
Phoenix Tower International
PIMCO Investments LLC
Plantation Animal Clinic
Proffitt Dixon + Partners
Regions Bank | Regions Securities LLC
Roberts Law Group
Schwartz & Stafford, P.A.
State of NC
Sun Counseling and Wellness
Team 91 Charlotte Lacrosse
Tile Redi
Tin Fulton Walker and Owen
Tryon Medical Partners
U.S. Bank | US Bancorp
UBS Financial Services
WCCB Charlotte
Wealth Enhancement Group
Wells Fargo Securities
Whistle Express Car Wash
WSC & Company