How to Find and Apply To High School Internships
Increasingly, high school students are finding that real-world job experiences provide an edge when it comes to college and career readiness. In fact, students who have already gotten their feet wet in a professional setting often have boosted confidence, an increased understanding of the expectations in a professional workplace, and added insights into what career fields seem fulfilling and interesting to them.
An internship provides these perks without the weight of holding down an actual job. Through high school internships, students gain experience, make lasting professional connections, and even learn about themselves along the way. In addition, balancing the obligations of an internship with the expectations of school and other extracurriculars can build time management skills and serve as evidence of your maturity and commitment.
Many high schoolers wonder, though, how they can go about finding an internship, never mind applying for the internship of their dreams. In this post, we’ll explain how to do both. Keep reading to find out.
Consider Your Interests and Aspirations
In an ideal world, you would be able to look into the crystal ball and see what job you’ll be doing a decade from now. In reality, though, you need to start from scratch, thinking about what you’re interested in doing and what careers you may consider.
Many students can start to think about this simply by looking at academic and extracurricular interests, and thinking about how they may fit together into a career. Try to get creative and match your soft skills with concrete, desirable workplace skills. For example, if you enjoy the arts and math, and also like to work with people, you might find a good niche for yourself in marketing.
If you’re having trouble getting started, you might also consider using the help of an online interest and personality inventory. These don’t have to be a serious undertaking (though you should take it seriously, even while having fun), and you can often complete them with friends.
One popular source to consider is Career One Stop. Career One Stop is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and provides career, training and job search resources. Interest and skills assessments give you an idea of careers you might possibly pursue based on your unique passions and experiences, while career profiles and videos provide insight into professions you might not have otherwise considered. Have a look around the website and see what strikes your fancy. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your dream job.
Leverage Your Connections
Identifying your ideal job isn’t an easy task, but getting your foot in the door at one can be even more difficult. When it comes to breaking into a particular field or profession, you should use every resource available. This includes the personal and professional connections you’ve already established.
Be open about your search for an internship in certain fields and discuss your search with anyone who will listen. You never know when someone will reveal that their uncle’s second cousin is married to someone who currently needs a personal assistant in his or her law office. Talk with mentors, coaches, teachers, parents, and friends about your goals. Reach out to anyone who you already know working in a related field. You’ll be surprised how far your networking may bring you.
Take Advantage of Online Tools
If you can’t find a position through your personal or professional network, you’ll need to consider alternate routes. The good news is that the Internet makes your job easy. Never before have students had access to such an extensive list of available positions. Sites such as Internships will allow you to search by geographical area, field, and time commitment among many other search filters.
One resource that many students don’t recognize is common job search websites. Sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and GlassDoor all have dedicated searches for high school internships. Here, you’ll find everything ranging from part-time year round internships to full-time residential summer internships.
In addition, CollegeVine has extensive high school internship resources available for free online. Check out these posts to learn more:
Present Yourself Professionally
Once you find the internship you want, be sure that you carefully consider every aspect of your application before applying. You want to give the impression that you’re a mature, committed student who’s genuinely interested in the field and grateful for the opportunity.
You’ll definitely need a strong resume to use during the internship application process. Many high school students initially feel stuck when it comes to writing their first resumes, because it seems like there’s nothing to include as far as experience. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. Check out these posts to learn more about creating your first resume:
You might also consider setting up a LinkedIn account to put your best foot forward.
To learn more about this, check out these CollegeVine posts:
Looking for help navigating the road to college as a high school student? Download our free guide for 9th graders, and our free guide for 10th graders. Our guides go in-depth about subjects ranging from academics, choosing courses, standardized tests, extracurricular activities, and much more!
To learn more about summer programs, jobs, or high school internships, check out these posts:
Want access to expert college guidance — for free? When you create your free CollegeVine account, you will find out your real admissions chances, build a best-fit school list, learn how to improve your profile, and get your questions answered by experts and peers—all for free. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today to get a boost on your college journey.
Want more tips on improving your academic profile?
We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.