Saint Mary’s juniors presented their ideas to local business partners on Pitch Night 2023, Monday, March 6, opening with a welcome reception in Smedes-Emory Parlor before moving to classrooms in Ragland Classroom Building for the pitch sessions.
As part of the Seminar Program at Saint Mary’s School, juniors work with our community partner, District C, in its Teamship program to solve real-world problems for local businesses. Teamship is a novel internship experience where teams of students solve real problems for real people. The results of that work are presented on Pitch Night, when the students, working in squads, pitch their ideas to company representatives.
This year's business partners are Dale Carnegie Young Adults Initiative; BodyLase luxury med spa; Blackology local coffee roaster; givefinity volunteer tracking app; International Focus, Inc., Triangle-based nonprofit; The Amalgamation small business community; L, a local firm providing legal services to entrepreneurs and startups; and Aja Labs, a material science firm focused on sustainability.
The night was a rousing success with business partners offering the students internships, recommendation letters, and more perks, as they were so impressed with the work accomplished and the polished presentations.
“The students have been working so hard and are definitely gaining new professional skills as they learn what it takes to communicate with and solve problems with a local business or organizations,” says Seminar Instructor Kayla Wyscarver.
How does Teamship differ from traditional internships?
Traditional internship opportunities favor students with social capital and family connections. Teamship is delivered through school, providing direct access for more students.
Traditional internships are too often supervised by busy managers with little to no experience mentoring students. Teamship includes rigorous coaching from a trained and certified educator.
Traditional internship experiences too often default to menial tasks and rote work. Teamship emphasizes team-based problem solving, the competency most sought after by today’s employers.
The Teamship Mindset
The Teamship experience is built on four modern-work mindsets and a set of actionable tools. If the mindsets represent an attitude for the work, the accompanying tools (protocols, team processes, devices, and behaviors) taught through Teamship are concrete ways-of-working meant to put that attitude into action. Working in teams to solve complex problems requires both. The mindsets are:
Analytical: Real problems are messy. Break them down before jumping to solutions.
Design: All problems are human. Get to needs and motivations with an orientation to action.
Collective: The best teams are diverse teams. Leverage the power of different perspectives.
Self-Aware: You are responsible for you. Proactively manage your growth and productivity.
Teamship recognizes that work is changing. Automation is impacting jobs across all industries. Employers are looking for a new kind of talent prepared for the uniquely human job description of the modern economy: work in diverse teams to solve complex problems. Today’s work requires a different kind of preparation.
District C’s innovative Teamship program lines up perfectly with Saint Mary’s School’s mission to prepare students for life in today’s changing world!