Internships Can Help High School Students Better Shape Their Career Plans
By Laura Massey, Stride Success Coach
“Internship” is a big buzz word, swarming around the high school scene. Having an internship is typically an experience that many associate with the college years, but it is shifting down to high school. While the popularity of internships in high school is currently growing, many will often ask the question… “What does an internship experience really do for you in your teenage years?”
Think of an internship in high school as a test drive for your career interests. For example, if you think you want to go into education, what better way to see if that is a good fit than to go into an actual classroom? An education internship can have you working side-by-side with a teacher, completing tasks just like a professional educator. It truly helps you answer the question, “Can I see myself doing this, professionally?”
When you are starting to make plans for life after high school, having the experience of an internship really helps to shape those next steps. It is also another great opportunity to hone those workplace readiness skills, and it’s a great resume-builder. Now that you understand how internships are beneficial in high school, you might further wonder… Where do you even begin?
Check Your Career Cluster Interest For Internship Matches
So, when you test drive a car, the first decision you have to make is what kind of car you want to try out. When taking on an internship, the first step is figuring out what job, career field, or skill you want to learn more about, in a hands-on learning environment. If you have taken a variety of elective courses, you may have an idea of what sparks your interest. Also, consider taking our High School Career Quiz, if you need help narrowing it down, or if you just want to validate your own thought processes.
Understand What Is Expected During An Internship
While every internship experience varies by career cluster and organization, there are some common expectations most places have of their interns. Companies and organizations have their interns follow the same rules and regulations about dress code, technology usage, and confidentiality as they do their own employees. In the case of paid internships, you are one of their employees. Some basic tasks of most internships may include attending meetings, helping to plan events, or supporting customer service.
Know Your Options For Internships
Like employment opportunities, you can find experiences that fit you and work best for your student schedule. Internships exist either in a full-time or part-time capacity. There are opportunities that can be either in-person, virtual, or hybrid. Another common question among students is if they will get paid during their internship. This is dependent upon the organization offering the internship. There are many paid opportunities, as well as unpaid experiences. Be sure not to discount the unpaid internships, as the knowledge and networking opportunities you gain can pay off down the road.
Learn How To Search For An Internship
Here’s where the fun begins! If you have an idea of what kind of internship you are looking for, use our Internship Search Tool. There are a wide variety of opportunities listed here. Remember, you also have your own network of adults in your life, who also have their own network of people. You'd be surprised what results you can get by simply talking to your teacher, or a neighbor, about your career interests.
Applying And Getting The Internship
Once an opportunity has been presented to you, and you are ready to apply, be sure to use the same attention to detail you would for any other job application. Have an updated, polished resume ready to submit. Be prepared in case you have to interview with the organization either in-person or virtually. Arrive on time for any interviews, dressed professionally, and have a series of questions ready about the organization and the internship itself.
No matter the stage of your search, or where you might be at in the application process, be sure to also reach out to our team of professionals. They have years of experience working with high school students on finding and making the most of their internships!
Wondering “What To Look For In An Internship Job Description?” Click here, to find out more information!
Check out the latest tips on Balancing Work And High School, from a Stride Career Prep Success Coach!
To read a Stride Student Advisor’s Perspective on finding the right internship for you, click here.
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and how it prepares them for life after high school through career exploration or college readiness, visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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