07 Nov The Pros and Cons of A High School Online Summer Internship
PRO: You’re ahead of the game.
Let’s be honest. How many people start interning in high school? Not many. Often, people are too busy working at summer camps, ice cream shops, or the local mall to even think about furthering their “career”. And while there certainly isn’t anything wrong with working in those types of jobs (I sure did!), they don’t do much for career exploration or advancement. Imagine how ahead of your peers you will be if you intern early. With the extra time you have from starting early, you have the opportunity to try a wider variety of internships. The experience you gain will be sure to impress eventual employers, as your resume will feature much more than your peers.
PRO: Try Before You Buy
On that note, online summer internships allow you the opportunity to get a better idea of your interests. You might imagine you’d love publishing, but feel as if it’s dreadfully boring once you start. Or maybe you thought you’d love graphic design, but found out you actually love copywriting. This can make selecting a major for college infinitely easier. You already know what the other side looks like. This also can allow you to try out different work structures. Maybe some companies have open work hours, while others are rigidly within a select few. You’ll be able to find out what works for you.
Try a few different online summer internships throughout high school. The experience gained will be extremely rewarding, and will have future you thanking you.
PRO: Can They Make It Easier?
Never before has it been easier to try out new industries. You’re young! You can try out any company you can dream of (and of course get offered an internship from) without the fear of failure. Have a particular industry you’re dying to learn more about? Try an online internship there, and network like crazy. With the whole world reachable now from your tiny bedroom, there isn’t an excuse to not utilize this time to get an early jumpstart on your future.
PRO: Valuable Lifelong Skills
Having an online summer internship in high school can help develop time management and communication skills that will only aid you to have earlier rather than later. These skills will translate to college as well as beyond. Learning early on how you best stay motivated and focused when plagued with the distraction of working at home, will only benefit you as you continue down whichever career path you choose. You will have already had practice with it.
CON: Virtual Networking
A frequent complaint of the new digital workplace is that first person interactions, and the subsequent relationships built, are greatly missed. It can be hard to stand out and make an impact on your superiors when you’re confined to a tiny screen. Meeting future mentors in an online space can make the relationship building portion much more difficult than it might be in person. Because of this, it is vital to take extra steps to meet coworkers.
Schedule one-on-ones with people in your company that have interesting jobs to you. Ask questions! Instead of building relationships by proximity, you have to do a bit more leg work to truly establish yourself on others’ radars. While it’s difficult, it’s still very possible to create lasting professional relationships in an online summer internship, and can help teach you how to communicate effectively online.
At the end of the day, interning regardless of whether it is virtual or not in high school allows you to network far better than deciding to work a more “traditional” summer high school job.
CON: “Free” Internship
A huge drawback of any internship, in person or virtual, is that they are frequently unpaid, especially while you are still in high school. While the social stigma around unpaid internships grows and people become more aware of the way unpaid internships limit those who are able to participate, it remains a common practice for companies. Not only this, but with companies frequently having staffing issues, as well as the less-than-booming current state of our economy, your company could overwork you. Being remote can often blur traditional work hours, resulting in longer time worked. Setting boundaries for yourself can greatly aid in avoiding being constantly available to your employer.
Overall, choosing to try out an online summer internship will only help you in your future. As the world becomes more digital, it would be helpful to have some savvy digital work related skills ready to go as you advance in your schooling and career. So give it a go! The ice cream shop will still be there if you decide to go back.