Senior Encounter

Senior Encounter, the capstone experience of the senior year, enables each senior to explore a field of interest with an adult who works in that area. As seniors prepare to head to college in the fall, Senior Encounter aims to provide them with a broader perspective on a career field of interest while connecting with a mentor in that field.

During Encounter, seniors will spend two weeks engaged in a full-time internship of their choosing under the supervision of a mentor. In the past, students have participated in internships in a wide range of fields including medicine, business, education, technology, engineering, architecture, film, and environmental sustainability. The exact schedule of the internship can be flexible, but the student is expected to “work” for at least seven hours each week day.

The contact and connection with the adult (mentor) is at the heart of the Encounter. This close working relationship is intended to provide the student with insight into the mentor’s job and the broader field in which they work. In turn, seniors are eager to learn and to contribute their own talents and skills.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, we recognize that some workplaces and/or mentors are not in a position to host seniors in person, and we also acknowledge that health and safety policies and protocols are continually being updated and revised. We will therefore support Senior Encounter projects in three formats — fully in-person, fully virtual, and hybrid (though the expectation for seven-plus-hour days remains for virtual and hybrid internships), and we will continue to monitor the pandemic and make adjustments to Encounter as necessary.

This program has been in existence at Gilman for decades; many alumni report that their Encounters were formative experiences. 

Senior Encounter for the 2021-2022 school year runs from Tuesday, May 17 - Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

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Two-week Encounter immediately after Senior Exams

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Seven on-site or virtual work hours each day

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Any occupation is open for Encounter

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Student-designed, project-based experiences

types of encounters

Encounter internships or conversations can involve participation in any occupation, e.g. business, law, finance, the arts, medicine, media, government, the environment, and education. Students have worked with veterinarians, equity analysts, business owners, social media professionals, assistant public defenders, doctors, nutritionists, architects, traffic engineers, school directors, nonprofit executives, sports team managers, consultants, and more. Any internship project that is feasible, well planned, serious in purpose, and closely supervised by an adult mentor who works in that field and can sponsor the student in the workplace, will be considered for approval.


What Seniors Say About Encounter

Although short, my time working at PHR gave me insight to what I want to do in my life. Entering encounter, I knew I wanted to be an engineer; while that hasn’t changed since my first day I have found something else I’m interested in. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at PHR and I felt as if my work wasn’t just me being productive for the sake of being productive, but my productivity translated to a positive impact on someone’s life. Now I know I want to be an engineer, but I also want to continue the work I started here at PHR, I just need to find a way to do both.

MENTOr: Park Heights Renaissance

I learned much about American history during my time transcribing oral interviews, and what I learned excited me. I was listening to an interview conducted with an almost 100-year-old man about what life was like when he was three years old. His memories extended back before 1927, and he remembers stories that bring information from even further back. The digs that we went on added to our knowledge of Catoctin Furnace, which smelted raw pig iron for the American Revolution and during the Civil War. I came into the archaeology firm not knowing what to expect, but I left having discovered a new interest. I will definitely keep Archaeology as an option for a future profession.

MENTOr: EAC Archaeology

My encounter experience reinforced my interest in becoming a Physical Therapist. I was pretty sure before this experience that I would pursue Physical Therapy, but after this, I am almost 100% going to pursue this as a career option. This type of work is service to the public, and it is enjoyable as well. The Therapists I met were all wonderful, funny people, dedicated to their helping their patients become pain free, and return to their normal lives.

My favorite part of the encounter, and really the reason I am interested in a career in Physical Therapy is because of the connections that you form with the patients. While I was working, I would always talk to the patients and they would talk to me about all kinds of stuff from what are you having to lunch today to where are you going to College. It was so nice to have conversations with them and since most of the patients were older, I know they enjoyed that I loved talking to them.

MENTOr: Mady & Mules Physical Therapy

I am so thankful for this opportunity [working with Head Coach John Harbaugh and Assistant Coach Dan Parsons], and even though I may not go into football, I will certainly take what I learned in regards to leadership and team organization, which has always been a passion of mine, and carry it with me moving forward.

MENTOr: Ravens

During my senior encounter, I shadowed Mark Dewire, the chief solicitor for the Department of Law in city hall. He provides legal counsel to the mayor, the mayor’s staff, and the Baltimore City Police Department. Not only did he teach me the basic principles of law, but he also showed me how widespread changes occur in a city and their effect on the police department...Overall, from my experience I learned so much about the system of law, how change occurs in a government, and what the Baltimore City Police Department is doing to change their methods of policing.

MENTOr: Baltimore City Department of Law

Photo courtesy of Cynosure

How You Can Help

The Senior Encounter is a wonderful opportunity for alumni, parents, and friends to mentor a young adult and teach him about the work that you do.

If you, or someone within your organization, would be willing to supervise a senior for the two-week Encounter program, please complete the short form below.

Senior Encounter for the 2021-2022 school year runs from Tuesday, May 17 - Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Follensbee, Director of the Encounter Program, at or 410-323-3800 x307.


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