23 Oct Charting Your Destiny: High School Internships Redefine Learning
For many, a high school internship is a completely foreign concept. Internships have long been associated with college and early careers, typically being reserved for those closer to entering the workforce in order to give them a starting point. But why? Why gatekeep the reality of the workforce from young people until they’re about to enter it? Does it help better prepare them to keep them in the dark? We don’t think so.
High school internships can allow young people a chance to see their studies in the real world. It allows them to gain a sense for the next step and to better understand their role within it. Hands-on experience adds tremendous value to learning, and an internship could completely change the way we look at high school education by allowing them to deepen their understanding and take learning one step further. Here are the top benefits of high school internships.
Hands On Experience:
Internships tailored for individuals in their high school years provide an extremely valuable opportunity for these budding young professionals to gain firsthand, in-person, and hands-on experience within the realm of the working world. This experience allows them to step beyond the confines of traditional classroom learning and immerse themselves in real-world settings, where they can actively apply the knowledge and skills they have been acquiring throughout their past few years walking the halls. This application opens them up to experience a deeper kind of learning that will help them in their studies as well. The practical knowledge reinforces the academic concepts they’ve spent years learning, allowing them to see the full picture of why they are learning the way they are. Students get to try a new way of education, by solving real world problems and completing projects that go beyond a simple grade. They will see their own impact in the company around them as the quality of their work now matters far more as it affects their colleagues. All in all, high school internships allow each subject to permeate deeper as they see how it connects back to the real world.
It can be extremely daunting and challenging for young people to choose their career when they’ve experienced so little time in the work world (if any). Internships allow students to get a glimpse into all of the options they may have one day. It also allows them to learn what they do and do not like to do, enabling them to narrow down their options for eventually choosing a career path. While Career Day, the internet, and general interests can be the common ways many choose their future career path, and these can be quite helpful, they still do not allow students to actually experience what they are signing up for in the future. With high school internships, interns can actually test out what they are imaging they like, and see if it matches up to their imagination.
A major benefit from high school internships is how it prepares students for college. Many find themselves lost, trying to figure out what it might be that they want to study. It can be an intense decision as it will limit their eventual job options, but for poor students, they might not have even learned yet what’s out there! A high school internship allows interns to experience what is out there, and be better prepared to select a path for themselves. They also will benefit from the boost an internship will give on their college application. It shows an innate ability to apply classroom knowledge to the real world.
Career Preparation and Skills:
Internships add depth to an otherwise very shallow high schoolers resume. Many have yet to have anything on their resume more professional than perhaps a summer job at an ice cream shop. This gives you a leg up, making you a serious candidate as you’ve started gaining experience in the professional world, younger. Having a high school internship will also aid you greatly against the competition for internships in college where it can be much more fierce. HIgh school internships also help round out your soft skills, showing future recruiters that you are proactive, motivated, and committed to your work. Internships give students a taste of what they can expect when the true pressure is on for the career of their choice. This early exposure helps them to understand what it takes for them to succeed in their industry.
Personal Growth and Confidence:
Perhaps the most useful benefit of all, is the confidence high school internships will give the intern. By venturing to try an internship students are stepping out of their comfort zones aiding in self confidence building as they navigate new situations and environments. Young students will learn to interact and hold themselves in professional settings with superiors and fellow peers, introducing them to workplace cultures as well. Interns learn to reorder their brains to adapt to a variety of challenges that are no longer only on the page. They learn to problem solve in actual scenarios, analyze situations, make decisions, and implement solutions. These newfound skills will aid significantly in their success in future endeavors both in the classroom dn outside of it. Successfully completing an internship can also help with feelings of self- confidence and self esteem, as they now know they have the skills and abilities to succeed in the real world, outside of their classroom.
All in all, there are virtually no negative benefits that outweigh the massive upside to having high schoolers start earlier than traditional internships. Incorporating internships to high school programs either as part of the curriculum or even in extracurricular opportunities, can have a deep and profound impact on students’ personal professional lives. It empowers them to trust their guts and experience when choosing a path in the future and equips them with skills earlier than they would have otherwise had. Most importantly, high school internships prepare young people for any challenges they may face in the future of their education and career journeys, and gives them the courage to tackle them.