Internships Are A Valuable Part Of Career Exploration For High School Students
By Courtney White, Stride Success Coach
If you’re a high school student, you’ve likely heard the word “internship” a time or two in your social and academic circles. Simply put, an internship is short-term work situation, generally for students, to get some exposure and experience in a particular career field. The difference between an internship and a job is that jobs are long-term assignments that always result in a paycheck… whereas internships are temporary assignments that could be paid or unpaid. But, don’t let the notion of an unpaid internship stop you, as this experience is still valuable. It will strengthen your resume, expose you to what it’s really like to work in a career field, allow you access to people that you can potentially network with, and help you to develop important skills.
Here’s how to find these great opportunities…
Search Online For Internships
It’s 2022 and our lives are dominated by technology, so this one you probably could have guessed as an option. If you’re hoping to land an internship, the obvious place to start first is online. There are many internship search sites that will get you started in your quest to gain the perfect opportunity. Stride’s Internship Search Tool is an amazing and user-friendly option for students looking to begin the search. Start by entering the job title, career field, or even the skill you’re looking for in professional development. Then, you can key in the city, state, or zip code for where you’d like to intern (or you can choose to search for positions that are entirely remote). And, finally you can click “search internships.” That’s it! There are 6,687 opportunities on Stride’s Internship Search Tool at the time of this publication, with new opportunities being added daily!
Tallo and LinkedIn are also great places to search for internships. In addition to these useful tools, there are many others you can use that function in a similar way. Just do a google search for “high school internships” and explore the results.
Ask Around For Local Internships
In the career world, we call this networking. Ask your parents, friends’ parents, neighbors, or anyone you know who is currently exploring a career field you’re interested in, to see if opportunities are available at their place of employment. Schedule a meeting with your school counselor, career center contact, or success coach and see what offerings they may be able provide as connections. These resources may offer a bonus of reviewing and polishing your resume, which you will definitely need to do when applying for an internship.
Create Your Own Internship Connections And Opportunities
If you have tried searching online and seeking internships within your local network, but are still not finding relevant opportunities, then be brave and take your internship search to the next level. Begin asking companies directly. Say, for instance, you are seeking a career mechanical engineering. Check the companies near you that specialize in this field and give them a call. Introduce yourself, state your career interests, and confidently ask if there are any job shadowing, volunteer, or internship opportunities available for high school students. I have tried this trick with my students and have had overwhelmingly positive results. The company might ask when you are looking to begin your job shadowing, volunteer, or internship experience and advise you of their offerings. Or, they may take down your name and telephone number to have you contacted by someone who can set up this opportunity.
Notice I included the words “job shadow” and “volunteer” in the example. This is because while you may start off shadowing (observing others doing a job to get a feel for a day in the life of that career) or volunteering (offering your support to an organization while also learning important parts of the job), you can easily turn this into an internship, too, if you show interest and work well. Whatever the outcome of your calls, ensure that you get a name and email, so that you can follow up to either thank the company for allowing you to intern or to reach back out to check the status of an opportunity.
Make no mistake, internships are a sure way to add great experience to your resume, boost your college application prospects, and expose you to the workforce. If you are serious about finding a career you love, and positioning yourself as a valuable asset to companies, don’t delay… start your internship search today!
If you are uncertain about future career choices and feel like you need help in Finding Your Path, then career success coaching may be for you!
And, be sure to check out the article, How To Optimize Your High School Years For Career Readiness, to learn even more from a Stride Success Coach!
Want to take experiential learning to the next level? Then be sure to visit the Stride Internship Search Tool, to expand your knowledge and skills for better career prep and development: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/internships.html
To learn more about Stride Career Prep Success Coaching for teens and what it offers, be sure to visit this site: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/career-exploration/student-success-coaching.html
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