Carlmont students race to get involved in Water Dog Run internship program


Robin Linares

Lindsay Roth was able to learn more about web design through her work on the Belmont Water Dog Run website. “We got to choose the colors of the website ourselves. And that involves understanding what colors look good together, which is hard to do on a website because, on every screen, the colors look a little different,” Roth said.

With the changing leaves of fall comes Belmont’s annual Water Dog Run. While most are familiar with the community-oriented run, which fundraises for schools and youth programs, many may be unaware of some Carlmont students’ involvement behind the scenes.

The Belmont Water Dog Run began an internship program this year to have students direct the event’s marketing, web design, and social media.

While the run is scheduled for Oct. 8, the search for interns began in February, allowing time to prepare for the event. Huan Phan, the vice president of the Belmont Water Dog Run Board, explained why they thought of adding interns for this event and why they decided to look for them in Carlmont’s student body.

“I had been on the board for a little while. I knew that we needed some help on design and web and that Carlmont had such a program, so I wondered whether I could get some help from Carlmont,” Phan said.

According to Lindsay Roth, a senior and an intern for the Belmont Water Dog Run, Carlmont allows students to get involved with web development, google ads, and social media for nonprofits through its Student Business Enterprises club. She explained how her experience with the Student Business Enterprises Club helped her in the internship.

“My friend showed me an email which said that the Belmont Water Dog Run needed someone to either do web development or social media, and we could apply as a team,” Roth said. “Prior to that, we designed a few websites together for two different nonprofits that turned out pretty well, and we were already learning how to use WordPress.”

Belmont Water Dog Run interns attend weekly Zoom meetings to discuss the progress of tasks they are working on and get new tasks to complete for the following week.

Phan designed the meetings to mimic a professional work environment, giving the interns experience collaborating in a workplace setting.

It’s like we’re involved in funding parts of our school, which is kind of crazy to think about.”

— Lindsay Roth

“I do this because I am trying to give the student as professional an interaction as possible like they were working in a company. We have regular meetings with agendas, due dates, all that stuff,” Phan said.

Although Phan and the interns have been collaborating well, Phan noted that the internship’s success is largely the result of the work of John Rowe, Carlmont’s business teacher and the club advisor for Student Business Enterprises.

“I would be remiss if I did not mention that a very important person to make this work is Mr. John Rowe at Carlmont,” Phan said. “When I was interviewing the students, I spoke to Mr. Rowe, and he offered to participate as a mentor for the students. Mr. Rowe has been participating in all the weekly meetings, and he has been great, offering advice to the students and me when he felt necessary. He is a very important reason that this is working.”

Rowe explained his role in Belmont Water Dog Run meetings and noted the importance of providing this type of support to students.

“I think it’s just a great opportunity for students to learn real-world skills, and we teach all these wonderful skills in class that they can apply in the real world,” Rowe said. “For Belmont Water Dog Run, we work with other students who helped code the website into WordPress, and now it’s a living site. We’re working on getting a record number of participants, but we’re pretty close to it. Hopefully, we’ll have a record number of participants this year because of the great work the students have done.”

With the successes of this first round of interns, Phan hopes to expand the internship program with Carlmont into the following years.

“When I interviewed in February, I wanted juniors because I knew that the race is going to be in October,” Phan said. “If it is successful, then we’re going to recruit another group, and we’re hoping that the existing group of students will hand off work to the new group. Then year after year, we have a group of juniors who know that something like this is possible.”

Roth explained the benefits of being a part of the program, from improving her web design skills to simply being able to support her school community in a way she didn’t know how.

“The money raised is given back to the local elementary schools, middle schools, and Carlmont,” Roth said. “It’s like we’re involved in funding parts of our school, which is kind of crazy to think about.”