07 Sep Virtual High School Internships Made Exciting
When you think of an internship, you often think of someone college aged, working at a boring office somewhere near their university or hometown. Not often do you imagine a high school student. However, high school students make a more obvious choice for internships as they are in the process of choosing next steps for themselves, such as colleges and eventually majors, though traditionally this has not been practiced. With virtual work becoming increasingly common, a new opportunity emerges: virtual high school internships.
Now, it’s easier than ever for interns to start younger than in recent times while still being able to work or study in school. By starting earlier, students may be able to select a major with more insight and further developed skills than their predecessors, making them excellent candidates to beat out others for future work.
Despite being remote, these virtual high school internships are an extremely exciting and impactful experience that is sure to benefit them for their entire professional lives.
Changing What It Means To ‘Virtually Intern’
We are at a unique time period in history as both work and education are rapidly evolving. This may be due to several reasons, but one of the most prominent is the swift implementation of technology from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature has forced our hands to explore what we can truly do with technology both in the classroom and at the office: entering virtual work/school.
Traditional classroom learning is only further complemented by experiential learning opportunities making a virtual high school internship the perfect byproduct of this revolution. These internships offer students an early look into the world of work, and allow them to gain skills that they can apply to real world scenarios.
Virtual internships are not a new and scary thing, the “kids” are doing. In fact they are a byproduct of a very real and exciting advancement in the way we look at and view work, making it easier than ever before to gain experience.
One of the largest benefits of a virtual internship for high school students is that now, geographical barriers are eliminated. Aspiring young professionals can intern anywhere, not simply the office buildings local to them, but truly anywhere on the globe in any industry (provided they offer a virtual internship, of course). This also means you can connect with a far larger and more beneficial group of potential mentors, organizations, and projects as virtual opportunities open more doors. This not only simply makes the virtual high school intern more likely to succeed in the future with all of their connections, but it also fosters cultural awareness and a sense of adaptability. Both of these skills are growing in vitality for future employers and will only help the intern to have a leg up on their career.
An additional benefit is the flexibility a virtual internship experience can bring, especially to someone still actively in school. Students can easily strike a balance between their academic and professional lives by virtually interning, without disrupting studies. This can be early practice for juggling multiple responsibilities which always is a good skill to earn!
Making Exciting and Impactful Work
The success of a virtual high school internship fully hinges on how much both the employer and intern put into the experience. In order to truly get the most out of it, the employer must create an internship that can engage students. They should find ways to bridge the gap between theory and practice, having students work on real-time projects with guided mentorship. Pairing this with learning opportunities such as workshops make for an extremely educational and impactful experience for the intern.
This however, goes both ways. If the interns expect the employer to provide a great experience, they must also work to display their developing skills. The intern could work on learning technology, such as the video conferencing and project management tools used by their company. They should develop communication skills and relationships with their colleagues and work to establish future connections. They will also need to master their own self-discipline to stay on track and within the target of their goals. Self disciple and communication skills will absolutely carry through to your future as critical skills.
While interning as early as high school will inevitably benefit the student by entering them into the work world early, there are a few challenges. It can be difficult for students this young to maintain self-discipline as they often are still living at home which may not be the best place to work virtually. The lack of physical presence can feel isolating and confusing to virtual high school interns as they struggle to form personal connections.
To fix this, interns should ask their mentors for regular virtual check-ins, collaborative projects, and group discussions. These experiences can help simulate in person interaction as they foster teamwork. Time management can also be difficult for virtual high school internships as students are still quite used to a structured schedule such as the one they have at school. This can teach interns early to set up schedules for themselves, and manage their own time and workload. Developing this before a university experience will only majorly benefit them as they continue on in their professional journey.
A virtual high school internship can be an extremely fruitful experience for a young student to embark on, as they get to gain a glimpse into a future career path, helping them make informed decisions about their higher education and eventual career choices.
These experiences allow students to explore different fields, understand their weaknesses and strengths and explore their interests all while aligning with their academic schedule. They open up more opportunities for a larger number of people, as they can now intern for an infinite amount of companies and meet people from around the globe. These experiences are the perfect way to establish a generation of adaptable future professionals all while comfortable from their own homes.