Whether you’re someone who knows exactly what you want to pursue in college or still figuring out what you’re interested in, internships offer fantastic opportunities to explore different career paths, connect with other students, and gain experience in the workplace. As a high school student, it can sometimes feel like there aren’t any opportunities for internships.
However, there are plenty of programs available! You just need to know where to find them. In this article, we will explore some of the best internships for high school students. Get ready for some amazing experiences and opportunities to boost your resume and learn more about different career paths.
Now that you’ve decided to begin searching for an internship for the summer or perhaps during school, all you have to do is apply, nail the interview, and be an intern! Simple, right? Unfortunately, the process can feel quite intimidating. The key is to have a plan and dedicate time to searching and applying.
The first step is to spend time researching opportunities in your area. Google is going to be your best friend in this process. There are so many opportunities for high school internships through companies and corporations that as long as you put in the time researching, you’re bound to find something. Our best advice is to begin early!
Most internships for high school students are looking for rising juniors and seniors. So, if you’re a sophomore or freshman in high school, you have time. However, it’s always good to begin early and make sure you have plenty of time to apply to all the internships you’re looking into.
Typically summer internship applications will be due anywhere from January to May (at the very latest) of the year you’ll be interning. Starting your research a few months before the due dates will afford you plenty of time to narrow down applications, find references and recommendations and plan out time to fill out the applications. We suggest beginning by thinking about possible careers you’d be interested in.
If you’re really unsure, just make a list of jobs you’ve considered before or Google jobs that are relevant to a subject you really enjoy in school. This will help give you a broader sense of what you’re passionate about and help narrow down internships that will give you the most experienced, fun, and enjoyment over the summer or whenever you’ll be interning.
Here is a list of ideas for internships and career exploration opportunities to help you begin your search! The hardest part of finding internships is figuring out where to look. Hopefully, this list will kickstart your journey to finding an internship.
The majority of big brand companies across the U.S and abroad offer internship opportunities for high school students. They genuinely want to be driven and passionate students from diverse backgrounds to have opportunities to work for them. You do not need the most robust resume or prior experience. Many have programs dedicated specifically to high school students. Some offer paid experience, stipends, or school credit, depending on the program.
Make a list of companies you’re interested in and see if they have programs. Feel free to reach out to recruitment directors or whoever is in charge of internship programs, too! Do this regardless of whether they are for high school students, to see any other opportunities not directly listed on the site. While you might not receive a response, it’s essential to put yourself out there and get used to networking while you’re still in high school. The more people you reach out to and the more you put yourself out there, the more chance you’ll have of securing an internship!
Another great opportunity to get some experience that is not a formal internship is job shadowing. If you know anyone who has a job you’re interested in, reach out and see if they would be willing to let you shadow their job. While this might not be as much of a time commitment as an internship, this is a great option for freshmen and sophomores in high school.
Job shadowing offers opportunities to get to know people who work for companies and in jobs that you think you’re interested in. It also helps to connect with people before applying to internships when you’re older in high school. Any experience and connections will be helpful, and you’ll probably learn a lot during your time shadowing.
Maybe you’ll realize you don’t want to spend a summer in this particular job. Finding out what you don’t want to do is just as helpful! We recommend creating a LinkedIn account and begin seeking out people who work in places you’re interested in.
If you’re into more STEM-related fields, there are plenty of research and lab work internships available. Most of these will be looking for upperclassmen. So, if you’re a junior or senior interested in science, definitely seek out this opportunity!
Start with talking to your teachers to see if they know of any labs or science-related internships that could be possible for you. They’ll be aware of the resources available and can also provide recommendations and references for your application. Asking for help from trusted adults will make it much easier to manage the internship process! As a result, you’ll start building yourself a support network, too.
Local government bureaus and organizations have lots of internships available for high school students. From political organizing to research to volunteering, your local city government will have programs available for high schoolers to participate in. Simply go to your city government’s website and look for links to get involved and volunteer.
This is a great resource for high schoolers to get involved with their city and community, make positive changes, and gain useful skills. You can also reach out to your local leaders and representatives to see if they offer job shadowing or individualized internships.
If you’re looking during an election year, there are many ways to get involved. You could manage everything from passing out forms, knocking on doors, to making phone calls! These are all excellent ways to begin exploring professional networks and figuring out what you enjoy doing.
Many high schools have alumni networks that are specifically made to reach out to alumni who have jobs that you’re interested in. If you have access to the network, use this resource! You can search by different categories such as location, job title, field, or whatever else you can think of. This will help narrow down your search.
We also recommend meeting with your counselor, advisor, or another faculty member to answer any questions you have. Using an alumni network and meeting with trusted faculty will give you vital connections and open up new opportunities with people in careers that you may be interested in.
A big part of finding internships is networking. Using your alumni network is an excellent place to begin! You’ll have the common experience of going to the same high school right off the bat.
Now that you have some ideas on where to find possible internships, you can start actively searching for them. Keep in mind that for high school students, internships provide an introduction to possible careers and jobs. You are truly at the beginning of your career journey and figuring out what you want to do.
You absolutely do not need to have everything figured out or know exactly what you want to do in college and beyond. Hopefully, you’ll find an internship, job, or volunteering experience that will provide you with opportunities to collaborate with other students, learn more about a specific career, gain some new skills, and meet new people.
There are certainly internships out there for high school students, but it might take time to find the right one. Be patient and keep trying even in the face of rejection. You might have to get creative and take some risks with reaching out to people, but don’t lose hope! Keep searching and networking, start early, and believe in what skills you can bring to the table.
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