INTERNSHIPS: The Good, The Paid, And The Unpaid
Don’t dismiss the idea of high school internships until you’ve got the facts.
First, let’s bust a few myths:
1) Internships aren’t just for recent grads and college students
2) Not all of them are unpaid
3) It’s not just getting coffee, making copies, and being the office errand-runner
Now that we’ve cleared that up, keep in mind that timing is everything. March and April are prime application time for summer internships.! Read on for facts, tips and resources to help you decide if an internship is right for you, and how to get started.
Types of internships
The best internship options for high schoolers are: paid, unpaid, for-credit and not-for-credit. Though each one varies, they’re similar in that they all help with early stage career-building, look great on college applications, help you make industry connections, are a chance to lock down high-level references and referrals, and ultimately, can lead to a permanent job.
Unpaid: Same idea as a paid internship, but make sure you are getting a fair payoff of exposure, learning, and networking opportunities.
• Harvard Summer Program for High School Students
• Stanford University Research Program
• Wedding & Event Planning
• Environmental Protection Agency
For-Credit: Many high schools and colleges offer internship programs in exchange for school credit. The idea is to help you work toward graduation, and once you have your degree, you’ll have that much more experience in your field! Many of these internships can also be done for non-credit.
Not-For-Credit internships are usually for students who do not need any additional credit on their transcripts, but want more practical experience. (Note: these are traditionally for college-bound students or college students, but you can still keep an eye out to see if they can be obtained while in high school)
• Technical Intern
• Creative Services
• Digital Media
• Legal Justice
We already busted the myth that interns live to serve coffee, run errands and make copies. What you can expect is behind-the-scenes access to action that’s usually reserved for seasoned professionals. It’s a great way to “try on” an industry, business, or career before taking the plunge for real.
Some more benefits of internships:
• Work experience trumps any and all coursework or volunteering...it’s a great resume booster.
• Automatic references and referrals
• Network connections and contacts
• RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE! A student internship is a rare opportunity to obtain actual work credit, which will make you stand out against other high schoolers with no work experience and increase your chances of landing a job.
SIDE NOTE: This kind of “career exploration” isn’t exclusive to only students who plan to go to college. Apprenticeships are a great way for vocational school students or trade workers to gain practical hands-on experience and training in a specialized field.
Now that you know the types of internships and how they’re beneficial, here’s some info compiled to help you find – and land – your 2018 summer internship.
• 15 Awesome Internships for High School Students
• Summer 2018 Internships Search
• 6 Reasons To Do An Internship
• Career Advice: Why Internships Rock
• 15 Ways to Stand Out As An Intern
• NASA Internships
AND, don’t miss these tips straight from the Jobcase Jobready Kit to help you get in tip-top internship shape:
• How to use the Jobcase resume generator
• Jobcase Jobready Checklist
• The small stuff matters! How & why you should add it to your Jobcase profile
High school is not too early to start thinking ahead, and an internship is just that: an investment or in your future.
So, overall, think of an internship as a unique chance to “test drive” and explore an interest. No contracts signed, no long-term commitments. It’s less about making money and more about getting hands on, in your face, real-world experience.
What are some reasons you would consider an internship? What kind of internship interests you, and why?