Internships Are A Key Part Of Career Prep And Exploration For High School Students
By Darius Harris, Stride Success Coach
Choosing an internship can be a daunting task. There are many options out there today, and sometimes the descriptions can be long, confusing, and tedious to read. So, how can you quickly decipher all the listed information and scan for the important things?
Here’s a list of items to focus on (phrased as reflective questions), when looking over an internship description, that will then help you choose the best opportunity to fit both your needs and that of the company.
Who is the target audience of the internship?
Many internships are targeted towards college students and recent college graduates. However, there are also many opportunities available for high school students, as well. The area to look at first, to determine if the internship is for a high school student, is the qualifications section. Usually, companies will list whether or not a high school diploma is needed, and if the candidate needs to be enrolled in college courses at the time of the internship.
What are the requirements of the internship?
Again, look at the required qualifications section first. You can determine if you have at least 70% of the things they are looking for… like technical skills and years of experience. Don’t waste too much time reading the full description. It can be a poor investment of your personal energy to get too deep into an internship listing, only to then notice at the bottom of the description that you don’t meet the requirements.
Does the internship schedule work for you?
The internship job description should list the number of hours expected for an intern each week, as well as the days they want someone to work… whether it’s on-site, remote, or hybrid. Make sure you are able to commit to the amount of hours, in addition to the specified days of the week.
Is the internship opportunity remote or on-site?
Depending on where you look on the description, you’ll see whether the internship requires the student to be on-site or if the position is conducted remotely. It may also be a hybrid opportunity, where certain days are on-site and other days are remote. This information is usually located under “location.”
Does the internship award school credit?
If you are specifically looking for school credit from an internship, then be sure to read through the internship job description carefully, to see if credits will be awarded for completing the internship.
If you specifically want to be paid for your time as an intern, then be sure to look over the description to see if the internship offers compensation. Since the experience you’ll get from completing an internship is invaluable, many opportunities for high school students are unpaid.
How long does the internship last?
Most internship job descriptions will list the number of hours required to complete the internship experience, along with the months that the internship will officially start and end. This is very important to know, so you can plan other things in your life.
What will you learn during your internship experience?
An internship should benefit the student as well as the company that offers the internship. Look through the internship job description to see exactly what you can expect to learn from the experience, and how they plan to help you to learn these things. Will you be supervised by a professional working in the field? What types of experiences do they have planned for you? Will you complete a final project to show what you learned during your time? If they don’t list this type of information, it could be a sign that they may not have a meaningful experience planned for their intern.
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.
Plus, if you are looking for an internship right now, be sure to check out Stride's Internship Search Tool: https://www.stridelearning.com/career-prep/internships.html
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