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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 offer summer internships for high school students because students 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. While summer is a popular time to start an internship, many internships also occur during the school year.
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.
If a student knows their career path, a summer 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 universities and companies.
Due to increased technological advances and the current state of the world, many people now work remotely 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.
Virtual internships offer a smooth transition into remote work and in-person work. They prepare you for college, especially studying and working in all environments. Virtual internships teach flexibility and build resilience, especially when you can’t control your circumstances or working environment. The journalism, marketing, and software engineering fields often offer remote or virtual internship opportunities.
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A simple Google search is the easiest way to look for internship opportunities. Start by searching “summer internship opportunities for high school students” or “summer high school internships.” Sites like Indeed.com or LinkedIn are excellent starting points for your search.
Connect directly with a company through its website. Before you call, email, or send 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 a internship.
Network through teachers, counselors, family, friends, and even peers. Many companies do not have summer 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 Careers 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.
Whether you’re looking for a internship in engineering, STEM, business, or arts, here are the top ten summer internships for high school students. (Some are virtual!) Additionally, some of these programs even offer internships throughout the academic year!
Search hundreds of extracurricular clubs, internships, and research opportunities through Crimson’s online database.
Goddard Space Flight Center offers NASA summer high school internships to US high school students over age 16. Under the guidance of a NASA mentor, this summer internship provides 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.
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. Students interact with Google employees through this program and learn more about computer science.
If you’re interested in a summer 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.
This six-week paid summer 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.
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. Summer internship locations vary.
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.
This student-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit provides a database of opportunities to high school students, including summer internships, volunteering, scholarships, and competitions. Students can sign up for easy access to these resources.
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:
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!
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 highly competitive universities review your application, they pay close attention to your extracurriculars 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.
Internships introduce you to opportunities. Opportunities are where you discover your career path. When you explore summer 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.