Senior Seminar | Internships and Capstone Projects

The Saint Mary's School Senior Seminar program is an integral part of the school's innovative, four-year, grade-specific, Seminar Program. During the first semester, the Senior Seminar program focuses on the college search and application process as students work closely with the college counseling staff and their individual college counselor.

The second semester focuses on giving students the opportunity to dive deeply into an area of interest through a capstone research project or internship of their choosing. Saint Mary's location in downtown Raleigh, provides myriad opportunities for students to connect with experts in a variety of fields and access businesses of all kinds.


Girls in Raleigh Crosswalk

Internship opportunities are designed to help students build key competencies while also developing greater independence through a concentrated, week-long, career immersion experience. The Senior Internship Experience allows seniors to explore career interests and observe a professional setting, all while enhancing personal growth.

At Saint Mary’s, we strive for each internship experience to be balanced between hands-on and observational. As an extension of the classroom, internships can enhance learning and core competencies.


The internship experience allows seniors to:

  • explore a new profession or career interest
  • practice professional skills, such as resume writing, networking and more
  • interact with diverse populations
  • nurture self-esteem and personal growth
  • develop personal and professional responsibility
  • cultivate strong and effective communication skills

The internship experience allows internship partners to:

  • introduce students to a new company and career
  • establish new relationships with local schools and educators
  • develop new projects with student assistance
  • foster good will in the community by serving as an internship host site

Capstone Research Projects

A capstone research project may include, but is not limited to, a research paper, a field study, or a collaboration with a faculty member or fellow student. The project is intended to showcase the development of a student's high school career or allow a student to more fully explore a topic of interest she may not have had the opportunity to explore as part of her regular academic program. A capstone research project allows students to apply what they has learned in new ways and in new contexts, which in turn deepens learning and provides the skills and knowledge needed to continue pursuing this interest in college or beyond.  A capstone project hones research skills and gives students the opportunity to defend their research and what they've learning with a presentation of their findings for a live audience.
Senior capstone projects, along with other student research projects, may be submitted for consideration for an SS. and I.F. Marsden Award for the completion of an outstanding research project.   

Questions? Please contact Kayla Wyscarver at 919-424-4092 or


My internship was fun and so exciting. I walked into La Maison on my first day thinking I would just be shadowing the designers, but they wanted me to actually work with them. It became my first real job... I can now picture myself being a designer in a few short years and my internship at La Maison helped me envision that.

Kate Garrison '20

What I most enjoyed about the capstone program was the opportunity to apply the skills I learned during high school towards my passions. The capstone program allows students to explore their interests in ways the confines of the school day do not allow. It was very compelling to do archival research outside of the classroom and get a taste of what a professional career in that field might resemble.

Wilder Seamans '20 
2020 S.S. and I.F. Marsden Award Recipient


About the S.S. and I.F. Marsden Award

The S.S. and I.F. Marsden Award is given to a senior who completed an outstanding research project during her senior year. It is awarded to a senior with a demonstrated aptitude in an academic discipline through presentation of a significant research project and report producing a final product with substance, depth, and breadth of research. The recipient of the Marsden Award receives a cash award.

For more information

Kayla Wyscarver
Seminar Program Academic Instructor