Is Getting a High School Internship Worth It?

Is Getting a High School Internship Worth It?

When people think of the word “internship,” their minds often take them to university students getting ready to start their careers.

And that makes sense – most internship programs are still geared towards college and university students. Particularly those who have graduated or are just about to! This heavy association is likely made stronger by the fact that 56% of interns in the U.S. receive full-time job offers from their employers. This, along with other reasons, are likely why many people view internships as a young adult “thing.”

Despite this apparent truth, another one rises up: high school internships are also growing more and more popular! Internships also open doors of opportunity for eager younger students, giving them the chance to experience new things. While some might question the necessity of of these programs, they prove to be beneficial for both students and employers.

Why internships are worth it

One common issue that people have with high school internships is that they feel like it’s a waste of time. After all, most students who want to pursue further education could just do other activities, and those who want to work could just get a “real” job. And those reasons can be applicable in some situations – but definitely not all!

A reason why high school internships are different from extracurricular activities and other full-time jobs is because of the specialization. Extracurricular activities are often clubs, sports, societies, and volunteer work – and while these are also fun, learning-filled activities, they can be far from what work experience is actually like. The same actually goes for jobs: there are limited part-time and full-time opportunities available for students, and the ones that are accessible, sometimes don’t have anything to do with the career they want to pursue.

High school internships are worth pursuing because they give students an early peek into the industry they want to work in. They offer experiences that aren’t as accessible (or aren’t available at all) through other activities! Clubs and work can be exciting and enriching – but internships offer a unique perspective for students, too.

If you’re considering a high school internship, here are some other ways that they could do you some good:

How a high school internship benefits you

Improve your credentials for applications

A high school internship will help buff up your credentials and make you stand out from a pool of applicants!

If you’re planning on applying for further education, then a high school internship is definitely right up your alley. Most employers agree that a high school internship helps admissions chances in universities! This is likely because an internship shows college and university selection committees that you’re dedicated to the field of study that you’re planning to pursue. Aside from that, it also shows initiative, commitment to learning, and ability to balance responsibilities.

However, you might want to avoid taking up an internship just for credentials’ sake – of course, admissions officers will still evaluate the relevance of the internship to your chosen program, as well as if it aligns with your other interests and activities. So make sure to pick a program that really resonates with you and means something to you! After all, an internship is a meaningful learning experience.

Get some relevant work experience

If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and are planning to work after high school graduation, then a high school internship is still bound to help you out. Recruiters are likely to evaluate what kind of experience you already have that will help you succeed in the position you’re applying for, and an internship presents just that!

Since a high school internship will expose you to the ins and outs of what it’s like to actually work, it’s a huge plus when it comes to applying. This is especially true if you’re a fresh high school graduate! Experience matters a lot, and might just give you the edge that you’re looking for.

Not only will this help career-oriented students, but this is also a plus for those who plan to pursue further studies. When the time comes that college internship season is around, or when it’s time to go out and get a real job, the skills from a high school internship will still stick around. Showing that early interest also helps you highlight the consistency of your plans and goals, too.

Create connections with coworkers

Pursuing a high school internship also paves the way for you to make connections!

Despite being young, being a high school intern gives you an early start in an industry. When you begin an actual job in the future, you’ll already know people that you can list as references, or even help you find jobs and more industry peers! An internship allows you to branch out and gain insight from others.

You’re also bound to get advice from people who have been working in the industry for years or decades. This valuable information isn’t something that is easily learned in classroom settings or in other activities. Getting first-hand guidance from the pros is invaluable and can affect your perspective and way of working in the long run.

Open the door for opportunities

Given that you’ll be gaining work experience and making connections, opportunities are also bound to follow, too!

Knowing people in the industry means that people are also bound to shortlist you for future opportunities. In addition to that, recruiters from other companies in the same industry are also likely to eye you! Pursuing a high school internship opens doors career-wise.

In addition to finding career opportunities, learning opportunities are also abound. Since you’ve already allowed yourself to learn the basics or get better during your internship, the growth that follows may be even larger than you realize! Taking a high school internship means giving yourself a foundation to level up your knowledge and experience in ways beyond office walls.

Learn more about yourself

High school internships aren’t JUST for career growth – they’re for personal development, too.

During your internship, you’ll be facing tasks and situations that will challenge your perception of life and what you’re capable of. You’ll be outgrowing a lot of your old fears and limits, and reaching higher into the sky of possibilities! Some of the things you’ll learn will be important to who you are as a person, not just who you are as an intern or an employee.

Pursuing an internship isn’t just about experience and connections. It’s about learning to move past your limits, grow beyond even your own expectations, and come out of your shell!

Where to find a high school internship

When it comes to finding high school internships, there are certainly a lot on the internet that you can browse from. But remember, instead of aiming for just any internship, you should try to find the BEST fit for you. Here are some things to consider:

  • What industry do I want to work in?
  • Does this company have a good reputation?
  • What future roles might I want to take up?
  • Do the people who work here like their jobs?
  • Can I see myself working here?
  • What do I specifically want to learn?
  • What kind of company culture is in the organization?
  • Does this fit my schedule? If not, am I willing to adjust?

All of these questions are necessary – and a few more might be, too, depending on what’s important to you. But finding the right fit is an absolute must! Otherwise, your internship time might not be worth it.

Luckily, some internship companies help connect students with the right companies, and help them find the best roles as well! If you’re wondering what you need to do to get your application started, check out this guide that will help you get started.

High school internship: yay or nay?

Yup, high school internships are absolutely worth it!

An internship will help you gain experience and make connections. But the best part? You’ll learn more about yourself, too! Looking to improve your curriculum vitae? Or maybe you just want to learn and make connections? No worries! Internships are definitely worth giving a shot.

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