Applying for, participating in, and completing an internship as a high school student will give you the confidence and skills you need to understand the world of the “job search.” It will allow you to explore a wide variety of career options including marketing, design, nursing, accounting, or something else. It will propel you into the world of networking. And it will give you an impressive entry for your resume—the same resume that will potentially help you land your first big job after graduation.
The Application Process
Internships for high school students require applications like other internship programs. An internship application process has the potential to teach you much-needed job search and employment skills. Writing a resume, landing an interview, and understanding what it means to work for a company are all skills that will give you a big advantage over job candidates who have never participated in this type of process.
For high school students, choosing potential internships, going through the internship application process, and completing an internship program offer valuable decision-making lessons. As a high school student, you’ll find that a summer internship can serve as a trial period that can finalize a decision you’ve already made about “what you want to be when you grow up,” or it can start laying out options to help you make some career decisions. It has a time structure that allows you the luxury of trying out a profession and industry – you name it, entertainment, non-profit, technology, etc. – without making you commit to it for more than a few months. It may only take that long for you to realize that working in the field you thought you’d be interested in isn’t anything like how you imagined it. Or you may discover that you love the industry in which you are an intern so much that you’ll be even more motivated to prepare yourself for landing a job in that field after you finish school.
Networking is essential to preparing yourself for the real world of employment. Often, knowing the right people will give you a huge advantage when it comes to finding the right job for you. An internship program will put you in a situation where networking can happen naturally. Take this opportunity to get to know a ton of people at your company, and make sure they get to know the best side of you as an employee. The people you network with during your internship could be the people you will contact upon graduation for a reference or even a full-time job.
Finally, an internship is a great way to expand your high school or college student resume. When school is your only priority, it’s unlikely you will have many job experiences. Still, the world of work is very different from the world of school, and you’ve got a lot to learn. An internship on your resume will show future interviewers that you care about your job options, that you’re motivated to grow in your career, and that you’ve learned important skills that will make you a very valuable employee.
Whether you plan to head to college or the workforce after your high school graduation, having a summer internship under your belt before you graduate can be a huge asset. If you’re applying to colleges, your internship experience can build a case for you as a strong applicant. Because many students apply to college after high school without having completed an internship, your experience can help you stand out from the crowd of students applying. The admissions committee will be able to see that you are motivated, inquisitive, and serious about success.
1. Meet with your school counselor to find out what internships are available through school resources.
2. Let you parents know you want to do an internship so they can check into internships with their friends and co-workers.
3. Ask your friends’ parents if they know about any internships, especially if they work in an industry you are interested in.
4. Talk to students at your school who currently have an internship or have had one in the past. Find out how they got the job and request contact information for the companies they interned for.
5. Search company websites to find out if they have any high school internship programs. Apply to jobs that have an online application process.
6. Call companies directly that you are interested in to see if they offer an internship program. Request an interview or find out how to apply for available jobs.
7. Explore options outside your area. Some companies offer a 4 or 5 week summer internship for high school students. You might not get paid, but the experience is worth it.