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How to Start Your Internship Search
Once you enter high school, every summer is about doing something that will add to your high school resume and make you stand out on your college applications. As much as we at CollegeVine have discussed high school internships in the past, procuring one is still pretty uncommon and will really set you apart in the college admissions process.
It’s not that students aren’t interested in doing high school internships. They’re just so few and far between that only the top students are selected for them.
If you are interested in doing a high school internship this summer, the first step is to do some research and figure out which companies and businesses offer internships for high school students. This is going to require some research and networking on your part, so it’s key to start early. For a detailed outline of what you can do to start your internship search, read on.
1. Use Your Connections
The truth of the matter is that a lot of high school students are able to procure internships because a parent, relative, or family friend was able to pull some strings and create a temporary position for them at their company. This may not seem fair, but it’s a good lesson for college and beyond: networking and leveraging your connections can get you far in your career and in life.
So, if you are okay with getting an internship at any company, and you’re not picky about the work, you should contact your connections to see if an adult can secure you an internship opportunity. They may be able to tell you about a high school program you didn’t know about, or even create a position for you wherever they work.
If you wind up getting an internship through your connections, keep in mind that it might not be an internship in a field you’re necessarily interested in. For example, if most of your community of adults work in engineering, you’re unlikely to get anywhere by asking them for an internship in fine arts. When you use your connections, you often can’t be picky.
2. Look For High School Programs That Offer Internships
There are some programs, organizations, and professional agencies that will place students in internship positions for the summer. It’s usually not free, and you may or may not get paid for your internship, but these organizations will do all of the research for you and set you up with multiple internship interviews. From there, you can hopefully procure an internship that will be a strong addition to your resume.
If you are unsure as to what these programs are or where to find them, talk to your high school counselor or a career counselor if you have one. They can tell you more about these organizations and which ones you would be eligible for.
An example of a program that offers internship help for high school students is INROADS, which provides college and career readiness services for high school students interested in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) and Business Careers.
3. Hit The Online Job Boards
Many of the big online job board websites have job listings for positions that high school students would qualify for. You will need to go in, make an account with the website, and narrow your search parameters to those jobs that you qualify for. This means that you need to make sure the job in question does not require you to have a high school diploma. Also, make sure to specify that you are looking for a summer internship, not a full-time job. Here are some of the most helpful online job boards:
These are by no means the only online job boards out there, so go ahead and do a simple google search for “high school internships” in your community once you’ve exhausted these online resources.
4. Contact a Company/Business Directly
As a disclaimer, this method typically does not have a high success rate. However, it is a risk-free option that every student should try anyway.
If you have a specific company in mind that you would really like to work for, and, more specifically, a department where your skills could be helpful, you can try and obtain the contact information of a person of power or an HR representative in that company and reach out to them via email. In your email, you can introduce yourself, tell them that you are wondering if there are potential opportunities for high school students, and attach your resume.
If you need help crafting that email, see A Comprehensive Guide To Email Etiquette For High Schoolers.
Don’t expect a response to your email right away, if at all. Sometimes, emails from non-company email addresses go straight to an employer’s junk folder, so they will never see it. If they do see your email, they may not get a chance to respond for 1-2 weeks. After one week, you can feel free to send a quick follow-up email asking if they have had a chance to look into this yet. If you never receive a response, which can unfortunately be common during job searches, move onto other companies.
For More Information
Need more help procuring that awesome high school summer internship? Check out the following blog posts:
Feeling like you need a little boost in high school? Check out CollegeVine’s Near Peer Mentorship Program, where you will be matched with a successful college student who is on a similar paht when it comes to your academic, career, and college goals. Your mentor will meet with you and your parents to provide helpful advice on all topics from college admissions to career goals, and they’ll make sure that you are poised to succeed throughout high school.