Top 7 Things to Look for in a High School Internship Program

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High school is an excellent time for socialization and making long-lasting friendships. However, you should not overlook one key aspect that could propel your academic career. That is known as high school internships. While you might think internships are reserved for college students, you’re wrong. Doing one during your school years can be highly beneficial.

This piece will go through the top seven factors to look for in a high school internship program. We will talk about what an internship is, how to locate the best one for you, and numerous ways to find one.

How Do High School Internships Work?How Do High School Internships Work?

We have witnessed a rise in high school internships and employees’ demand for them. That boils down to various reasons. But first, let us discuss what high school internship programs are.

High school internships allow students to conduct work and gain exposure to real-world professional environments. It is often performed in their desired field or one they are interested in. The structure and requirements can vary depending on the organization offering the program and the specific area.

However, there are some common elements that all high school internships share:

  • Eligibility and the application process. You won’t automatically get an internship as soon as you apply. Instead, there is a process that includes eligibility criteria. You can expect some requirements to have minimum age and academic standing. The process itself often includes submitting a resume, a cover letter, and an interview. You can check NIST’s requirements as an example. Internship placement. Once you get accepted, you will be assigned to a specific department or team. It will all depend on your education and skillset.
  • High school internships can vary in time. They can actually last anywhere from a few weeks to an entire year. Some are part-time, while others can be full-time programs during the summer.
  • Supervision and mentorship. The essence of a good program relies on your mentorship. You should always seek an internship opportunity that provides you with an educated, empathetic, guiding superior and always open to giving feedback.
  • Internships are the best grounds for building your professional network. You can aim to attend company events, workshops, meetings, and other socialization instances.
  • End-of-internship evaluation. After the internship, the student is often evaluated based on their performance, punctuality, attitude, and contributions. This evaluation can be a reference for future opportunities. It may be used as a basis for academic credit if the internship is part of a formal school program.

Importance of Finding the Right Internship Program

Importance of Finding the Right Internship Program

Finding the right internship program is vital for any type of student. It will have a significant impact on their personality and their professional development. You can explore the importance of internships through Forbes. However, we will discuss the importance of knowing how you find suitable internships.

  • Relevant experience. An internship can provide adequate knowledge for your field of interest. This practical change can help you understand the industry and apply theoretical concepts. Moreover, having a good internship on your resume will boost your chances of getting accepted into university.
  • Skill development. Programs like these will help you refine essential skills. Some include communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. You will also learn how to time-manage, which is a crucial skill wherever you go in life.
  • Career exploration. If you are unsure of your future career path or the college program you want to enroll in, an internship is your best opportunity to explore things. They will help you make informed decisions about your future.
  • Boosting confidence. Successfully completing such an accomplishment and gaining positive feedback boosts your self-esteem. They assist in advancing personal growth. Internships facilitate growth through skill development, industry knowledge, and networking. It also boosts your confidence, enhances communication, and teaches you time management skills.
  • Resume enhancement and recommendations. A relevant internship adds weight to your resume and distinguishes you. Moreover, you can seek recommendation letters from your mentor or colleagues to help with your future applications.
  • Academic credit. Some schools accept internships as part of a formal program, granting you credits for the hours you spend.
  • Transition to full-time employment. In most cases, interns become full-time employees. According to Zippia, 70% of interns eventually get a job offer from the company. So, how can you impress your employer to boost chances of getting a job? You should constantly ask questions and seek feedback. Moreover, take initiative that extend beyond your assigned tasks. Don’t forget to be punctual, which applies to both the time you arrive to work and completing work on time.
  • Personal growth. Beyond all the above, internships allow you to grow your unique aspects. You will face situations and challenges throughout your training that demand resilience and adaptability.
  • Learning company culture. The importance of choosing the right internship boils down to thriving in the best culture. Understanding how different companies operate will help you find the workspace most suited for your personal aspects and needs.

7 Things to Consider When Looking for a High School Internship

7 Things to Consider When Looking for a High School Internship

Specific considerations must be considered when looking for a high school internship. To get the most out of your experience, these should be aligned with your intended expertise and goals. This section will discuss the top things to look for in a high school internship program.

Mentorship and Guidance

You might be underestimating the power of having the right mentor for you. However, your internship experience will all boil down to who your supervisor is and how well they mentor you. A dedicated mentor can help you navigate the workplace, provide feedback, and offer insights into your chosen field.

Always look for a mentor who promises to give you enough time to guide you through projects. Otherwise, you might fall behind and not gain the best out of your experience in the company.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives 

Consider looking for internships that prioritize diversity and inclusion. Working in a diverse environment can expose you to different perspectives and cultures. Not only will that enrich your overall learning experience, but it will push you to adapt to different situations and challenges.

Duration and Time Commitment

When looking for internships for high school students, consider the duration of the program and whether it fits into your schedule. You should never compromise your academic commitments to gain experience.

Some internships offer part-time positions that you can complete during the school year. Others are full-time during summer breaks. Choose one that you can realistically and confidently manage without getting overwhelmed.

Financial Aspects and Assistance

CNBC states that 60% of interns are paid. Hence, paid internships for high school students are a possibility. While they might initially be harder to stumble upon, they do exist. Some even offer financial assistance or scholarships to cover expenses throughout your program.

While many are unpaid, some provide some support to alleviate financial burdens. You might receive a meal card, a cover for your commute, or even technological devices to help you seamlessly complete your job tasks.

Post-Internship Support

Ask if the internship program will offer you support or resources upon completing the program. Some might assist you in finding a job placement. Others will help you with resume reviews or alums networks. Connections will help you immensely upon completing your program. However, you should not forget to ask for a recommendation letter, and make sure you get it as soon as possible to avoid delays!

Learning Opportunities

Assess the potential for skill development and learning during the internship. Inquire about the specific tasks and projects you’ll be working on and how they contribute to your personal and professional growth. Look for opportunities that challenge you and expose you to new concepts. But how can one look for such opportunities? You can do so through a number of ways, including:

  • Career fairs. Career fairs allow you to talk to representatives and ask about the opportunities and challenges you might expect.
  • Cold calling/emailing. If you have a company in mind, email them directly to express your interest and learn about the chances they offer.
  • Social media. Social media is the hub for everything now. Consider LinkedIn and Twitter to learn about companies, their work environment, and their culture.
  • Community involvement. Whether you participate in club activities or community work, you might find people through networking who can help you learn about new opportunities that arise.

Location and Commute

Figure out whether the internship commute is worth it. Is it feasible for you to transport there on a daily basis? Consider the time and cost of transportation. Also, ensure it is manageable and within your budget. You can also explore whether the company provides virtual or remote opportunities for you to complete your work. For instance, three-fourths of job positions now offer hybrid work opportunities.

How to Find High School Internships: 5 Ways

How to Find High School Internships: 5 Ways

So, what are some ways to find high school internships? Finding one can be an exciting yet challenging process. However, this section will discuss the top means to help you seek that perfect fit.

School Career Services

Start by visiting your school’s career services office or counselor. Many institutes offer resources dedicated to helping students find internships or work. You might find a list of businesses or organizations that provide training.

Look at the Top Programs

You can check the most prestigious internships for high school students and aim to get enrolled and accepted in one of them. The best opportunities for any high school student include the following:

Through Company Websites

Visit the websites of desired companies and check whether they are offering positions for interns. You can head to their career pages and look for “students” or “internships.”

Reach Out Directly

One of the best means of seeking a program is reaching out directly to recruiters. Find out where you want to work and reach out to the recruiter in the company through LinkedIn. Then, craft a well-written and respectful message asking them whether they would take you on as an intern.

Local Businesses and Non-Profits

Research local businesses, non-profit organizations, and community centers in your area. Many smaller organizations may not advertise internships widely. Still, they may be open to having motivated high school students intern with them if you reach out directly.

Wrapping Things Up: Top 7 Things to Look for in a High School Internship Program

Throughout this article, you learn what the high school internship program guidelines are like and what to expect. Such programs provide real experience and career opportunities for all students. Remember that they are not limited to college students. You can benefit from all the advantages as well.

However, there are vital factors to consider when choosing the adequate one for you. That includes mentorship, diversity, and flexibility. When seeking the proper chance, you should also learn how to look for an internship program. Utilize school resources, company websites, and networking to find your opportunities. Don’t overlook the importance of high school internships in shaping your academic and professional journey.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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