Warwick School District

Career Learning Experience Creates Post-Graduation Job Opportunity

Since the 2014-2015 school year, Warwick School District has offered some kind of internship opportunity for high school students. However, in the 2020-2021 school year, the program was revamped and reintroduced as the Career Learning Experience Program. Since restarting the program, we have had more than 50 students participate and are currently working with around 20 local business partners to provide a variety of experiences to our students.

Last year, former seniors Bryn Hess and Ian Jerchau had an interest in pursuing a career in Real Estate. At the time, our Career Learning Experience Program did not include a Real Estate Agency, so Bryn and Ian got to work looking into local companies where they could foster a relationship. 

By January, the i’s were dotted, the t’s were crossed, and the Career Learning Experience partnership with The Brad Zimmerman Team was a-go. 

The Brad Zimmerman Team with Berkshire Hathaway is a local Real Estate business that works with clients to help them buy or sell their homes. “[We are a] Customer Service Organization that happens to sell real estate.” - Mr. Brad Zimmerman

As part of the internship, Bryn and Ian became very intertwined with the team. They attended both team and client meetings and were closely mentored by Mr. Zimmerman himself. To be licensed in real estate, there are several tests you must pass, some of which can be taken before turning 18. This allowed Bryn and Ian to work through a few of the tests while they were still in high school. 

“I’ve learned so much about the steps that go into buying/selling a house for a client. A key characteristic that I have picked up on just by being with Brad out in public is his ability to connect with people that he knows and people that he meets for the first time. He’s exceptionally easy to talk to and relate to which is why it makes him the go-to when it comes to someone needing to buy or sell a home.” - Ian Jerchau

When asked what the experience of working with High School students was, Mr. Zimmerman had nothing but positive things to say. He feels very energized to work with students who are so excited and willing to learn every day. Bryn and Ian had front-row seats to experience many aspects of the real estate world, such as everything that goes on behind the scenes of flipping a house. From the financial aspects to the physical aspects, they were able to participate in the clean-up, the meetings with the contractors, and many other parts of seeing the house flipped from start to finish.

Mr. Zimmerman found the experience to be mutually beneficial in that his team could look at their onboarding process and figure out how to best prepare for bringing on new team members, specifically ones who may not have a ton of experience in the industry. For our students, they were able to have an incredibly immersive educational experience to give them a real taste of what the industry is like. During their internship, Bryn and Ian were able to increase their confidence and grow as individuals and businessmen.

“The biggest takeaways I have [from this experience] aren’t just in real estate, [but also] in becoming a better person… how to build trust, engage in the community, put others needs above my own, and how to be a light in someone’s day.” - Bryn Hess

Post graduation, Ian and Bryn have continued to work with the team and are excited to pursue careers in Real Estate. By the end of the year, they are hoping to complete the rest of their testing and become fully licensed real estate agents.

Mr. Zimmerman is currently looking for a media intern to join his team this Spring. High School students interested in applying for this Career Learning Experience can contact Dr. Steve Szobocsan. Students who demonstrate integrity, honesty, reliability, and a strong background in videography, editing, social media, and similar digital fields should apply.

Any local businesses interested in participating in the Career Learning Experience Program can contact Dr. Szobocsan at sszobocsan@warwicksd.org. We are so grateful to our community for this collaboration and the enriching opportunities programs like this give to our students.