Summer School: ARC and the Marin County School to Career Partnership Program

by Guest Author

Over the course of the past year, American Ratings Corporation (ARC) has been looking for more ways to become involved with our community in Marin County. This summer, we’ve had the opportunity to host an intern from the Marin County School to Career Partnership program. The program helps high school students (and new graduates) develop on-the-job, real world skills by connecting them with local businesses. For the past five weeks, Ryan Tooker has been working with ARC’s Digital Team, analyzing media data, assisting with production and going on video shoots. He has also shadowed in our Ratings Department, witnessing firsthand how a company qualifies to become Diamond Certified. It’s been such a pleasure to have Ryan around. He’s competent and professional, and he loves bacon! We hope he has enjoyed being here this summer as much as we’ve enjoyed having him. Here’s what he has to say about his internship:

Ryan Tooker, intern at the Diamond Certified Program, from Marin County School to Career Partnership

Ryan Tooker, summer intern at American Ratings Corporation, heads off to the University of Michigan in the fall. Photo: American Ratings Corporation, 2015

I recently graduated from San Rafael High School. This summer, I decided to partake in the Marin County School to Career Partnership program, and they placed me with American Ratings Corporation, the creators of the Diamond Certified Resource. As an adept student heading toward a four-year university, I arrived confident in my overall competence and learning abilities. My ego, however, was checked shortly after being assigned my first task: analyzing a data set. My job was to create a formula to weigh engagement with various media. The goal was to generate a concise, one-sheet page showing the influence of distinct characteristics on produced content. However, being a complete Excel rookie had me staring blankly at columns full of numbers. As my supervisor gave me useful tips and tricks, the process became easier. I learned how to crunch the data and produce graphs that demonstrated the effectiveness of a wide variety of media communication types.

I can’t explain how satisfying it was to see my work finally have some purpose. Analyzing the data to improve engagement is incomparable to the pointless lessons on trig functions and rotating conics in high school calculus. Quite frankly, I’ve always wondered why traditional formal schooling rarely alters its courses to be more practical. Throughout my first weeks’ projects and shadows at ARC, I came to realize that, in my career, Excel will be my best friend. Why isn’t there a mandatory course on it in high school? This internship has allowed me to become accustomed to one of the most useful and universal applications in business. I appreciate all that this journey has offered and can’t wait to deploy my new skills at the University of Michigan in the fall.

For more on the Marin County School to Partnership Program, read here.