As high school graduation looms closer, many students frantically ponder what they would like to be, do, and accomplish in the future.
In today’s economic climate, students and young professionals face unique challenges and have unique opportunities. In a post-Covid job market, nothing is more important than hands-on experience. Equally important for career success are technological fluency and global sensitivity, as top companies and organizations expand to hire remote employees around the world.
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.
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.
What is an Internship?
An internship is a short-term job that allows the worker, or intern, to gain introductory experience in a certain profession. As an intern, you will work for a company or organization and gain the hands-on and practical experience you can use for future jobs.
Internships can last from a couple of weeks to a year or even more, can occur at just about any time of year, and maybe paid or unpaid.
High school interns especially are often unpaid because they don’t yet have the required qualifications and are limited in the work they can do. However, there are some paid internships for high school students as well.
What are the benefits of an internship?
Regardless of pay, internships can be an extremely beneficial experience for high school students. You’ll gain real-world work experience that boosts your confidence and helps you make a more informed choice about your college major and future career.
Why apply for Spring Internship?
While summer internships are limited to three months or less, spring internships can last as long as five months. As a spring intern, you’ll be putting your time-management skills to the test, balancing coursework, extracurriculars, and your internship. But it will be worth it as you gain valuable real-world experience and immerse yourself in the company and industry. All the while, you’ll learn new skills, build your network, and position yourself for a fulfilling career.
Typically, employers start looking for spring interns in early fall, so you’ll want to apply early.
When and where to look for spring internships?
In general, you should start looking for and applying for spring internships in late summer and early fall the year before. Most companies close applications for spring positions in the fall semester — particularly in October and November — so make sure to start your search early.
However, it’s important to start the process as early as possible — sometimes well before the summer semester. This gives you time to get recommendation letters and develop any skills you may need to secure the internship position. It’s not unusual for students to look for internships a year or two before they even plan on applying. By reviewing the qualifications and requirements early, you can set yourself up for success.
There are many different tools you can use to find relevant internships. First, start by visiting the website of companies and nonprofit organizations you are interested in interning for. Most large corporations have a student-oriented internship landing page where you can find out more about the internship program and apply to open internship opportunities. In addition, these sites usually display the application deadlines and other relevant information you’ll need when applying.
Career-driven sites like InternMart can help you find your interests and connect with recruiters. All you need to do is sign up. You can also look for internship opportunities at companies in your area by visiting career websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn.
Many colleges and universities also host campus recruitment fairs and events where you can meet with hiring managers and learn more about spring internships.
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 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, and be polite, and be prepared to articulate why you’re a strong candidate for the internship.