Teamship is a reimagined internship experience where teams of students solve real problems for real businesses.

Why Teamship Matters

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.

How Teamship is Different Than Traditional Internships

Equitable Access

Traditional internship opportunities favor students with social capital and family connections.

Teamship is delivered through school, providing direct access for more students.

Modern Work

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.

Rigorous Coaching

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.

How Teamship Works

If we want to teach students how to work in diverse teams to solve complex problems, we need to give them more opportunities to do just that. In teams of four, students solve meaningful and urgent problems for businesses and organizations. No case studies or hypotheticals. The most critical part of the experience is that it’s real.

1. Diversity

Four students with different backgrounds, strengths, passions, perspectives, and experiences come together to form a problem-solving team.

2. Launch

Teams build their team dynamic and interview their business partner to better understand the business problem and context.

3. Solve

With support from their coach, teams work to understand the root problem, test potential solutions, and create a solution proposal for the business partner.

4. Pitch

Teams propose their solution to the business partner and answer questions in a live workshop attended by community stakeholders, school partners, and parents.

Experience Teamship

Dalaicia Deravil, rising senior in Johnston County, North Carolina, worked on a team of students to solve a real business problem for Novo Nordisk. This is her story.

Teamship Mindsets & Tools

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:


Real problems are messy. Break them down before jumping to solutions.


All problems are human. Get to needs and motivations with an orientation to action.


The best teams are diverse teams. Leverage the power of different perspectives.


You are responsible for you. Proactively manage your growth and productivity.

For Educators

District C provides a turnkey solution for bringing team-based internship experiences to students. We find the business partners, we train the coaches, and watch the magic happen when students collaborate.

Purposeful Coaching

Putting students in teams to solve problems is a critical part of the model, but it isn’t enough. Meaningful student growth happens through purposeful, active, and real-time coaching. District C’s coaching philosophy is different from traditional teaching. It’s about:

Managing an experience, NOT delivering a curriculum.

Coaching on process, NOT explaining content.

Embracing uncertainty, NOT having the answer.

Providing dynamic feedback, NOT scoring to a rubric.

Reacting to the team, NOT driving a lesson plan.

Promoting autonomy, NOT holding control.

Coaching this work is hard. It takes preparation and training, which is why District C offers the District C Coaching Institute, an intensive professional development experience designed to train exceptional educators to implement and coach high-fidelity Teamship experiences for their students.

What Teamship Students are Saying


Why is diversity such an important part of the model?
Workplaces are made up of all different kinds of people with different strengths, backgrounds, perspectives, and past experiences. We know from research that the best teams are diverse teams, but only when the members of those teams understand how to leverage their individual differences. Teamship is an opportunity to learn how.

A typical problem cycle is anywhere between 3 weeks and 6 weeks long, with teams committing 3-5 hours per week. That said, we’ve tested lots of different kinds of implementations, all the way from a one-week intensive problem cycle to a 9-week extended cycle. Here’s the thing about solving real problems — you have the time that you have, and your time constraints dictate your process. It’s all part of the learning.

A non-negotiable for this model is that the business problems are real, meaningful, and urgent. Here are some examples of businesses and the problems they’ve brought:

  • A sports retail company looking to improve its employee training practices
  • A nonprofit looking to diversify its revenue sources to build a more sustainable business model
  • A local juice bar and cafe looking to revamp its in-store traffic flow to improve customer experience
  • A 100-year-old real estate company looking to unify its company culture across six divisions

When we ask students what they liked most about the District C experience, the opportunity to add real value to a real person or organization is almost always at the top of the list. Regardless of the problem, student teams have a chance to engage in real work that has real consequences and the potential to make a meaningful impact. Not only is this a huge motivator, but it also provides students with an authentic work experience that any college or potential employer will want to hear more about.

Yes. We survey our business partners 60 days after their experience. So far, over 85% of our partners report that they plan to implement, or have already implemented, at least parts of the solutions proposed by student teams.

Yes! We’ve had multiple Teamship students accept follow-on internship and job offers with our business partners. In fact, over 90% of our business partners report that they are more likely to consider a student for a job or internship if that student has had a Teamship experience.

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