We cannot stress just how important it is to take advantage of your summers while you’re still in high school. Whether you’re working a part-time job, babysitting a kid on your street, or taking an online class, the summer is a great time to get ahead! While a vast majority of your classmates are busy shopping for their dorm room décor, stand out from the crowd by scoring an internship for the summer between your senior year of high school and freshman year of college!
Internships provide real-world career experience that can help you determine whether a career path is right for you. While many people traditionally think of internships as being for college students, more and more high school students are benefiting from the experience, too.
Internships for high school students offer a unique opportunity to get a head start when it comes to gaining professional experience. Hands-on training in any industry equips students with skills and background to ensure they stand out from the crowd, whether they’re applying to university, a job, or a competitive gap year program.
Not to mention, you may even have the opportunity to make some extra cash, if you find a paid internship!
Reasons why you should intern during the summer before your freshman year of college
- You will get hands-on experience: High school education will provide you with essential theoretical knowledge but you will rarely have the opportunity to give it a practical application. An internship is a perfect opportunity to learn how the real world of business works. You will get an opportunity to apply what you have learned in class.
- You will discover what you like and what you don't: A high school internship will give you a real insight into your intended career path and let you understand more about your major and area of interest. There’s no better way to experience your career field than with a hands-on approach. This can also work in the other direction though: After taking an internship in your intended industry, you may find it’s not exactly what you had hoped. It’s better to find out now than later on after you’ve started college
- You can get a leg up: Most students take internships the summers between their college years, not before. This “bonus” internship can give you a leg up on future opportunities. It’s like a gold star on your resume, and it will definitely catch the eye of future employers or student org panels.
- You will connect with the right people: There is no better way to generate important professional contacts than being part of an organization. By doing a high school internship you can start building your network of professional contacts early. The right position will help you create connections that can help you through college but may also result in some great positions or careers after you graduate.
- You will get the experience that universities appreciate: The internship experience will look great on college applications. College recruiters increasingly appreciate young people who have some work experience prior to high school graduation. They like to see you taking initiative, especially in something that has to do with your intended major. It shows you’re ambitious and dedicated. This position could set you apart from the crowd and help you earn an acceptance letter.
- You can make the transition to full-time employment: Although it is not guaranteed, completing an internship open the door for the company to consider hiring you as an employee in a full-time position that is paid and marks the start of your career, Even if you don’t land a full-time position, you’ll already have work history under your belt. This will help tremendously with your resume, future job interviews, and self-confidence when it comes to working.
What internship opportunities are available for high school students?
Plenty! There is a wide misconception that internships are a college or graduate experience, but this simply isn’t true. In fact, more and more high school students are beginning to realize the importance of internships. And there’s an ever-increasing number of employers beginning to hire them.
Opportunities are available in any field that you can imagine, and each one will teach you something new and exciting.
It's important to remember that some of these opportunities really do lead to meaningful work, and you might even land a job at the company you're interning at.
How to ace the application process?
Once you find the perfect internship opportunity to tackle, it’s time to get ready for the second stage of the process: applying.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to leave an impression on employers.
- Create a resume: Of course, finding potential internship programs is only half the battle. You’ll also need to apply and get offered the position. To do so, you’ll most likely need a resume. A carefully crafted resume can help propel you into a satisfying and rewarding internship position.
- Prominently list relevant skills: Hiring managers don’t always have the time to read everything on your application. By prominently listing important skills and qualifications, you ensure that hiring managers see the benefits of hiring you at a glance, without having to read every single word. Some ways to do this include using bullet points or using a bold font to highlight certain skills in your cover letter.
- Put your best foot forward: Whether stopping by a business to inquire about an internship or attending a formal interview, it’s important to always put your best foot forward. Dress professionally, smile, be polite, and be prepared to articulate why you’re a strong candidate for the internship.
While shaping a career path could appear to be a challenge for many, the right internships can dramatically change the course of one's chosen career path.
Although it is not guaranteed, completing an internship open the door for the company to consider hiring you as an employee in a full-time position that is paid and marks the start of your career, Even if you don’t land a full-time position, you’ll already have work history under your belt. This will help tremendously with your resume, future job interviews, and self-confidence when it comes to working.