Internships for high school students
Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? If you’re a high school student, that answer might not be entirely clear. And that’s okay!
Internships for high school students are designed to help find potential career paths and experience what they’re like.
Not only can internships help you find a career you love (or figure out what you hate), it’s always a plus to have hands-on experience when it comes time to find a job.
What is an internship?
Think of internships as a trial run in an industry of your choice. It’s the opportunity for you to gain insight and perform some essential tasks that help you gain skills you’ll need in the workforce.
Most internships are not paid and are typically done for school credit. This means high school students need to speak to their counselor to see any internship programs available at your school.
However, in some cases, you can get paid for time at your internship. It really depends on the company and its process.
What will I do at my internship?
Like the first day of school, you won’t jump right into signing contracts or making creative assets. For high school students, internships usually include data entry, filing, sorting mail, and ordering food for meetings.
How do these tasks help you in the future? Even if you’re doing the smaller, everyday tasks that full-time employees don’t have time for, you’re still in the office every day learning how things work. You’ll get to sit in on meetings and start to understand the ins and outs of the industry you’re interning in.
How do I get an internship?
Finding and securing an internship is similar to looking for a job. You have to do your research, connect with teachers or adults that work in an industry you’re interested in, and showcase your unique skill set.
Your first step will be to complete a resume. A career counselor or high school counselor can help you write your resume, so it’s impressive to hiring managers.
From there, you’ll want to look on websites like LinkedIn and GlassDoor, which often post internship options. You can also ask your school if they know of any available internships for high school students. If they have some, they’re likely to connect you with the hiring manager, who is an even better way to get hired.
Interviewing for an Internship
The next step is the interview process. You’ll be set up with a time to speak with the hiring manager, either in person or on the phone. They’ll want to know a little more about you and get a sense of what you want to achieve throughout your internship.
Preparing for an interview is a lot like studying for a test. Only the questions will be about you and what you’ve done to learn about the company. We have a ton of pre-interview tips here.
Do I need to be enrolled in college?
Keep in mind that many internships require college credit. In some cases, high school students can enroll in a community college to be eligible for an internship in high school, which means you can land any position you want.
But if you can’t enroll, you may not be eligible for the internships that only give credit. Talk to your high school counselor to get an idea of what you can do to get around rules like this.
Overall, an internship is a great way to learn about new industries and see what type of work you like to do ahead of your college experience. And when it comes to your future, there’s nothing wrong with getting a head start on your job experience.