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10 Internship Opportunities for High School Students: Boost your College Application

27 AUG 2021

What are internships?

Internships are professional learning experiences that allow high school students, college students, and recent graduates to take everything they’ve learned in school and apply it in a real-world situation. They help you narrow down and develop your career path and gain new skills for future jobs.

Many employers like hiring interns because they bring new ideas and energy to their company. Employers often hire interns as full-time employees after graduation, especially if they feel the intern’s work ethic, expertise, or enthusiasm will benefit the company. Some employers pay interns, while others only provide experiential opportunities. They usually last the length of a semester, school year, or summer break.

Benefits of doing internships in high school

Benefits of doing internships in high school

Both in-person and virtual internships help high school students gain professional skills and a foundation for their future careers. Through internships, high school students can explore various career fields and areas of interest to determine which career path they want to pursue in the future. This exploration is encouraged through virtual and in-person internships, giving high school students plenty of opportunities to change their minds and think outside the box.

When a student determines their career path, choosing an internship relevant to that field of study helps them gain a competitive edge among their peers.

When high school students with internship experience apply for college or a professional job, they can confidently add skills like teamwork, organization, professionalism, and written communication to their application. Internships also prepare students for leadership roles at their university and in their companies.

Why should I do a virtual internship in high school?

Due to increased technological advances and the current state of the world, many people now work remote or semi-remote. When you choose a virtual internship, you’re not only getting job experience in high school; you’re learning how to develop discipline, work independently, and become effective in all working environments.

Are virtual internships worth it?

Virtual internships offer a smooth transition into remote work and in-person work. They prepare you for college, especially studying and working in all types of environments. Virtual internships teach flexibility and build resilience, especially when you can’t control your circumstances or working environment. Internships in journalism, marketing, and software engineering often offer remote or virtual opportunities.

Characteristics of a Strong Internship

  • Helps students develop and achieve their learning goals
  • Involves more than just clerical and administrative tasks
  • Offers a mentoring program to company interns
  • Gives regular, constructive feedback to the intern
  • Encourages interns to offer fresh ideas that help their business grow
  • Teaches the intern about the organization and its various roles within the company

What should I expect to gain from a quality internship?

  • Meaningful, real work experience
  • A mentor who guides you through your internship by answering questions and providing constructive feedback
  • Experience in a particular field
  • Professional and academic contacts
  • Exposure to employees at all levels of the company

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How to find an internship

how to find an internship

Internet Search

A simple google search is the easiest way to start looking for a virtual or in-person internship. Start by searching “virtual internships for high school students” or “high school internships.” Sites like Indeed.com or LinkedIn are excellent starting points for your search.

Research Specific Companies

Before you call, email, or send in your resume, do your research. Companies like to see that you took the time to learn about them, their mission, and what they’ve accomplished. This information is also helpful when interviewing for an internship.

Network

High school students can network through teachers, counselors, family, family friends, and even peers. Connecting directly with a company through its website is another excellent place to start. Many companies do not have internship programs but are open to having an intern work in their office or remotely. Sometimes a simple phone call sets the path for a quality internship.

Crimson Internship Program

The Crimson Internship Program gives students the chance to perform tasks and receive feedback from startups and established companies. Learn more about this program and search for internships through Crimson.

Top 10 Internship Opportunities for High School Students

Whether you’re looking for an internship in engineering, STEM, business, or arts, here are the top ten internships for high school students. (Some are virtual!)

1. Crimson Internship Database

Crimson ECL to find internships for high school students

Search hundreds of extracurricular clubs, internships, and research opportunities through Crimson’s online database.

2. NASA Internships

NASA internships for high school students

Goddard Space Flight Center offers NASA high school internships to US high school students over 16. Under the guidance of a NASA mentor, they provide students with opportunities to participate in experiential learning or research. Students can intern at one of their four campuses in Maryland, Virginia, New York, and West Virginia.

3. Google Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)

Google internships for high school students

This summer internship program is open to high school seniors entering a four-year undergraduate program. Students must declare a computer science, computer engineering, or software engineering major. Through this program, students interact with Google employees and learn more about computer science.

4. Smithsonian Youth Programs

Smithsonian internships for high school students

If you’re interested in an internship at the Smithsonian, they have multiple opportunities for high school students who are curious about history, culture, design, technology, and art. These programs are designed to prepare high school students for college and their future careers.

5. Geosciences Bridge Program (University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES)

Geosciences Bridge High school Internship Program

This six-week paid internship is for graduating high school students interested in careers in the geosciences field. Through hands-on activities, field trips, and lectures, students learn life skills that will prepare them for college and strengthen their academic skills.

6. Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program

Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program internship for high school students

This paid summer mentoring program is designed to educate high school students about fisheries science and management. The American Fisheries Society sponsors this program and provides experts in the field to mentor students. Internship locations vary.

7. Forage: Free Virtual Work Experience Programs (Virtual)

forage virtual internships for high school students

Forage offers virtual internships designed to help you discover where a career might take you. Their virtual work experience program connects students to companies, replicating what work would look like at these companies. Over 5-6 hours, students learn about the skills and tools needed during a typical company workday. This program is free, open-access, and self-paced.

8. YouUnited (Virtual)

Younited internships for high schools students

This student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides a database of opportunities to high school students, including internships, volunteering, scholarships, and competitions. Students can sign up for easy access to these resources.

9. US Department of Education Internships

US department of education internships for high school students

The Department of Education (ED) offers internships for students interested in a career in government and federal education, policy, and administration. Check their website for current internship opportunities in the following areas:

  • Human Resources Management
  • Data Analytics
  • Project Management
  • Training and Development
  • Grants Management
  • Communications
  • Information Technology
  • And others!

10. Chegg Internships (internships.com)

interships.com for internship opportunities for high school students

High school students can explore this database of internships, filtering by experience level and compensation. This site also provides blogs and articles with helpful information about the internship application process, interviews, cover letters, and more!

Will doing an internship boost my chances of going to a university?

As a high school student, you should look for ways to enhance your resume, increase your knowledge in a specific area, and better qualify yourself for competitive placements, programs, and classes. Take advantage of any opportunity to gain real-world experience.

When universities review your application, many pay close attention to your extracurriculars, especially highly competitive colleges, since most of their applicants are already academically qualified. Strong extracurriculars, especially those from high-profile companies, that showcase your leadership, responsibilities, and role help you stand out from other qualified candidates.

Final Thoughts

Internships introduce you to opportunities. Opportunities are where you discover your career path. When you explore internships in high school, you have more time to learn about a wide variety of careers and define your future career objectives. You also learn essential business and leadership skills that translate into any career field.

Key Resources & Further Reading


Interested in finding a high school internship that will help you get into your dream university? Crimson Education can help. For a free consultation, contact our admissions advisors.

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