While most students focus on internship experience during their college years, beginning in high school makes you stand out! Not only is it a great way to begin exploring career interests and opportunities, but it will also help you with your college applications. So lets begin discussing how to find internships for high school students!
Explore Your Interests
The first and most important step before applying, is to explore your interests. Most students in high school have probably not explored their career interests. Spending some time now to research some potential fields will make the process go a lot smoother. I would begin by google searching some career positions that seem of interesting. Keep in mind we are not researching internship opportunities yet, instead we want to get an idea of what type of career you see yourself doing as an adult. Some good examples would be computer programmer, aerospace engineer, general practitioner, etc. Remember, there are no wrong choices here. You want to choose what you are interested in doing, so do not be afraid to be honest with yourself. While keeping that in mind, do not be afraid to push outside your comfort zone and explore something new!
Research Desirable Companies
Once you have narrowed down your interests for careers, it is now time to start researching companies in those fields. Making sure a company’s mission lines up with your own is important for enjoying the work you do. Take a look at the company’s history page. Really dive into what made the company successful and its plan for continuing success. See what others have said about the company. Glassdoor and Google business reviews are great ways to hear what others have to say about the company.
The next step is to start your network. This can be done a few different ways. If you are 16 years or older, I recommend starting a LinkedIn account. This is great way to begin connecting and networking with likeminded individuals and companies. If you are younger than 16, than start perusing company websites for contact info. You want your focus to be on individuals in the current position you are interested in. This would be the position you researched during the first step. If you are unable find the individual’s contact info, I would recommend finding the Human Resource’s information. Most companies provide an email for this position and they are generally the first point of contact for any new hire.
Most companies will provide a page for sign up if they have available internship opportunities. However, even if a company does not provide any information, it’s still a good idea to show initiative. Initiative shows the company that you are interested and committed to an opportunity that may or may not be present there. If a company is impressed and likes you enough, they may be willing to create an internship position for you!
Remember all of the networking and collecting of contact info in the previous step? You are going to be using those emails and phone numbers now. Begin by emailing or calling a company of interest. Make sure to state your name and interest in working as a intern. Make sure to say you are interested in gaining experience in the type of field you want. This makes your intentions clear to the company. Once you have shown initiative, it is time to back off and let the company come to you. If you have not heard from them in a week, it can be a good idea to send a follow up email. Be warned, you would only want to do this once, as you do not want to come across as “pushy”.
Craft Expectations and Desires For the Internship
Hopefully by this point you have been contacted by a company you are interested in. Now you want to start thinking about what you want to get out of the internship. Many companies on your first day will ask you this question and it is good to start thinking about it now. If you are looking to learn more about computer programming, make sure to tell your company that. Remember internships are a two-way street. You are hoping to gain valuable experience with this company so you want to make sure it is worth it for you!
To conclude, I hope this article was helpful in answering how to find internships for high school students. Moreover, I hope it encouraged you to explore some interests outside of your comfort zone. Internships are key to standing out on college applications and will go a long way in improving your resume. If you are looking for more structured guidance from one of our college counselors, you can schedule time here!