Internships For High School Students: Benefits and Guide

By | January 20, 2024

Internships For High School Students: Internships are no longer just for college students, you know. As a high schooler, you can get a jump on building real-world skills that’ll give you a leg up on the competition in college and your future career.

Sure, you’re young, but that makes you eager and moldable – something employers love. In this article, we’ll convince you why you should hunt down an awesome high school internship.


The Benefits of Internships for High School Students

Taking on an internship while in high school offers many valuable benefits. Doing an internship looks great on college applications and can help you gain real-world experience, explore potential careers, and build skills. Consider all the ways an internship can help you grow:

  • Gain career exposure – An internship lets you experience different industries firsthand so you can determine what you may or may not want to pursue after high school. Interact with professionals to learn what different jobs are like.
  • Build your resume – Listing an internship on your resume and college applications shows initiative and responsibility. It demonstrates you pursued opportunities to learn outside the classroom.
  • Develop useful skills – Gain practical knowledge in a professional environment. Develop soft skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking and more. These talents help you succeed in college and careers.
  • Make connections – Networking introduces you to individuals that may help you in the future with college recommendations or job prospects down the road.
  • Earn money – Paid internships allow you to earn income while still going to school. Unpaid positions offer academic credit as an alternative form of compensation.

Finding an internship takes effort – updating your resume, inquiring with local companies, going through interviews – but the experience is well worth it. Approach the opportunity with an open mind, strong work ethic and positive attitude to make the most of it. You’ll come away with new abilities and a clearer vision of what you want from your future career and education.

Types of Internships for High School Students

There are a variety of internship opportunities that high school students can pursue to gain valuable experience. Here are some of the most common types:

1. Job Shadowing

Job shadowing allows you to observe a professional at work for a day or a few hours. You get exposure to careers you’re interested in without committing a lot of time. These unpaid gigs are easy to arrange and help confirm (or rule out!) career paths.

2. Non-Profit Internships

Many non-profit organizations offer internships for high schoolers. You may help with administrative tasks, events, community outreach, or other projects. These roles allow you to explore social impact careers while developing useful skills.

3. Summer Internships

Lots of companies take on teen interns over the summer months. Typical duties range from basic admin work and data entry to more advanced projects. Paid summer corporate internships are competitive but look great on college applications.

4. Virtual Internships

If in-person opportunities are limited in your area, virtual internships allow you to gain remote professional experience. Many companies adapted their programs to be remote-friendly over the past few years.

5. School-Sponsored Internships

Some high schools coordinate credit-based internships during the academic year or summer. You get mentorship from a teacher to set learning goals while working at a local organization.

Getting some hands-on experience in a professional environment allows you to practice important career-readiness skills. Review different internship options to decide what matches your interests, location, and schedule availability.

Tips for Getting an Internship in High School

Getting real work experience while you’re still in high school can be invaluable. Here are some tips to help you land an awesome internship:

Start Your Search Early

  • Begin looking for internships at least 3-6 months in advance. Many programs have early deadlines or fill up fast.
  • Great places to look include your school career center, job search websites, LinkedIn, and directly on company websites.
  • Don’t limit yourself to summer – some programs may be year-round or during school breaks.

Spruce Up Your Resume

  • Highlight any jobs, volunteering, clubs, or big projects you’ve done. Quantify your accomplishments when possible.
  • Get feedback from teachers, counselors or even friends and family.
  • Show off other skills like languages spoken or computer programs you know.

Prepare for Interviews

  • Research the company so you can speak intelligently about why you want to intern there.
  • Practice answering common questions about your abilities, interests and goals.
  • Highlight what makes you unique – a fresh perspective can be an asset!

Seek Out Personal Connections

  • Ask parents, relatives, teachers and coaches if they have any connections at companies you’re interested in.
  • See if they can put in a good word or refer you for an internship.
  • Reach out directly to companies over email or LinkedIn – sometimes it’s who you know!

The earlier you start planning and putting yourself out there, the better your chances of landing an amazing internship.

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