How to make the most of your high school internship? There are many ways in which your internship experience will develop your skills and knowledge. A high school internship can be a great way to prepare you for your future career. Having a high-quality internship can be your edge against the other applicants when you search for a job. That’s why it is imperative to give your best. Below are the nine tips for making the most of your high school internship.
Why Internships Matter for High School Students?
One way of preparing for your future career is through an internship. Nowadays, internship starts as early as high school. It can be your stepping stone towards a brighter future. However, your internship experience will not only equip you for your career. It can also be why your future life’s vision and mission are much clearer than before. Below are the reasons why high school internships matter:
It makes you decide whether to pursue your planned career or to change it.
As early as high school, you will already have a glimpse of what your future job will be. Because you will experience working on your planned job, you will know if this is what you want in the future. For example, you wanted to be a nurse, but you discovered that working in the hospital is daunting.
It is also possible that you discover something new. For example, your internship experience lets you handle more paperwork. You found out that you are good at organizing and planning. You may also learn about your strengths and weaknesses that you have not known before. Marketing and advertising are for you instead of business management.
It makes you apply the theories from the classroom to a real-life setting.
You would only imagine what the instructor is discussing with you in the classroom. But in an internship, you will have the real-life application of the theories and concepts you learned in the classroom. For example, in the classroom, you are taught how to operate the photocopier machine and troubleshoot it if it won’t function well. In the internship, you will have the experience to operate the machine yourself. If it troubles you, you can solve it independently based on how you are taught in the classroom. Another example is if you are an aspiring photographer, you can hold different professional cameras, see real studio settings, and assist the professional photographer.
It builds connections.
Connections are vital for anyone’s success. With your high school internship, you can meet different people. Therefore, as early as high school, you already establish linkages that you may need later. For example, your employer will already know you and your work ethic. Once you apply for a job in their company after graduating from college, you may be considered for the available position since the employer knows you already. Your employer may also recommend you to other companies, giving you more opportunities.
What Do You Do as a High School Intern?
The duties and responsibilities of a high school intern depend on what company you are in. For example, if you are in the business field, you may be asked to file and sort papers, attend to customer concerns, or answer telephone calls.
You will be asked to perform administrative tasks as a high school intern. For example, you will be asked to sort and organize documents for proper recording. You will assist the regular staff or direct supervisor with the daily operational processes. You may need to attend meetings or events and do the minutes and documentation. You may be tasked to answer phone calls.
No matter what company or agency you will have your internship, customer service is one of the tasks you must perform. You must satisfy the customer by providing quality services to the clients. You may assist them in answering their concerns and inquiries.
Most of the internship program has research. For example, you may perform product research if you are in business. Some fields may require interns to assist in experimental research. Research is vital that can also be used in their academic endeavor.
You will be asked to operate some machines and equipment with supervision from your employer. For example, you may be tasked to use the photocopier machine, computer, and printer. That’s why it is important to have the attitude of willingness to learn.
To give you a breakdown of what a high school intern does, let us look at these companies looking for interns:
- Brigham & Women’s Hospital (BWH)– if you are looking for internship experience in the hospital, this is a great opportunity. Your tasks are not limited to performing administrative tasks like sorting and filing documents, answering phone calls, and checking in with the patients. You are also expected to assist the patients in terms of their transportation. Other tasks include cleaning and organizing the equipment, assisting in research, and attending workshops.
- Gagosian Internship Program– if you are passionate about arts, this internship offers a global art gallery that exhibits artists’ works. You are tasked to assist the gallery staff with everyday operations, assist co-workers and artists, and support the front desk staff, like attending to clients’ needs, answering telephone calls, and sending out emails. If there are gallery openings and events, you will play a vital role in making it successful.
- NASA Internship– NASA offers many opportunities from high school to graduate through its NASA Pathways Intern Employment Program (IEP). You will experience operating data analytics in a cloud environment, programming, and data analytics.
How to Make the Most of Your High School Internships: 9 Tips
You will not learn if you think you are right all the time. You must be open to new learnings and accept that you don’t know everything. You do not expect that you will be doing it perfectly at first. There will be lots of mistakes that may make you feel disappointed. However, that’s the purpose of the internship. It is to make you learn and develop your skills. Do not forget that an internship is developing your hard and soft skills. Hence, you must be emotionally ready to accept challenges and solve them.
For example, do not hesitate to ask questions if you do not know how to operate a machine. You may ask the staff to demonstrate it until you can operate it independently.
Offer Your Services
Do not wait for your boss to call you and instruct you. You may ask your boss what you can do to help them. The initiative is important during the internship. With the initiative, you tell your employer how enthusiastic you are about the tasks. Your boss will love to train you since you do not wait for them. Instead, you take the initiative to render your services. As simple as offering your boss a cup of coffee can brighten the ambience, leading you to a more productive day. Even if your boss did not tell you to organize or do some basic cleaning in your area, you take the initiative to do it can impress your boss.
Imbibe the Workplace Culture, Values, Mission, and Vision
Do not consider the workplace as something strange for you. Consider it as secondary to your home. You must know the workplace’s culture, values, mission, and vision. As much as possible, memorize them, and always keep them in mind in every activity. What can I do to contribute to the mission and vision of the agency? Did I immerse myself in the values and culture of the agency? This way, you will not have problems adjusting to its policies and dealing with other co-workers. You will consider yourself as one of them. It will also gain confidence since you feel you belong to the organization.
Be Good to Your Employer
No matter how moody your boss is, you must remain calm and treat him respectfully and kindly. When your boss sees you are a man of value, you will be introduced to different learning and skills development opportunities. It is because you have gained his trust and respect in you. Once your boss doesn’t like you, he will not give you a good avenue for learning.
Always Come Early
Do not be late. Always be as early as possible to ensure you are first to arrive, then your boss. You will not miss any chances of learning and developing your skills when you are early. Your boss will also have an impression of how dedicated you are. Hence, he may give you more chances for work experience.
Meet and Greet Other People
One of the benefits you can get from an internship is the chance to meet different people. Expose yourself and greet everyone you meet. Make friends with your co-workers, even those with the lowest position. You will learn from these different people. The learnings will equip you in preparation for your future. It will also build connections that will help you later on.
Make Your Goals and Objectives
You must be clear about your goals and objectives and why you have your internship. You can list it down so that you will keep track of your progress. What do you want to learn? After the internship, what skills should you develop? How many connections should you make? This information is important to ensure that you meet your goals and objective during the internship.
Evaluate Your Performance
Did you perform well? What areas should you develop or improve? What are your mistakes? How can you correct them? What challenges have you encountered? How did you solve them? What are your small wins and big wins? You can write this down in your journal. A self-reflection is needed to determine your progress. It will also validate if your internship experience is beneficial for you.
Keep On Improving
Do not quit when you stumble or when you fail on a task. Keep on improving. If you commit mistakes, ask yourself how you can improve your performance. You may also ask for feedback from others, especially your boss. In this way, you will learn more. Learning usually starts with self-awareness. Be humble enough to accept the criticism from your boss and other co-workers.
Wrapping Things Up: 9 Tips for Making the Most of Your High School Internship
How to make the most of your high school internship? It would help if you learned a lot at the end of your internship. You can do this by coming to work early, having the initiative to offer your services, knowing your goals and objectives, accepting criticism and feedback meant to teach you, being flexible and always teachable, and imbibing the workplace culture, values, mission, and vision. Do not treat yourself as someone who does not belong to the organization. Lastly, do not forget the value and benefits that an internship can give you. Once you consider its importance, you will ensure you savor all the learning and time during your internship.