With an eye on a future that blends business and technology, Phillips Academy student Ben Prawdzik of Andover made the rounds at the private school's annual summer fair last year. Wandering among the 90 or so exhibitor booths, he found a summer internship at an e-commerce business, CNS Stores, in Boston.
Three days a week last summer he commuted from his home in Andover to that internship in Boston's Back Bay.
"It really worked out well for me. I had a great mentor and learning about this business was a good experience," said Prawdzik, now 17 and a junior.
"I got to sit in on meetings, listen in on the phone when customers called in and hear how the problem was solved. And, I went to the warehouse a lot to see how that end of the business works."
While Prawdzik landed a nearby internship, other teens traveled for opportunities such as an outdoor adventure programs in Colorado, community service programs in Nicaragua, and cultural programs in China and India.
The annual fair happens again this Sunday, Feb. 8.
This year marks the 19th consecutive year for the fair and about 90 exhibitors are taking part again, said Roxanne Barry, director of the summer opportunities office at Phillips Academy.
"Exhibitors represent a variety of programs from academic opportunities on college campuses, to adventure programs, to travel and cultural opportunities abroad," Barry said.
"There are some really cool opportunities at the fair. I think kids and parents should definitely check it out," Prawdzik said.
SUMMER FAIR FACTS
Sunday, Feb. 8
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Cage, athletic facility off South Main
Phillips Academy campus