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15 Business Internships for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

People checking financial trends

15 Business Internships for High School Students

Business internships for high school students open the door to invaluable experiences, setting the stage for future academic success. These programs offer a unique blend of learning, real-world exposure, and developing crucial skills in the dynamic business world.

15 Business Internships for High School Students

Business internships for high school students are invaluable in a job market that rewards early professional experiences. These opportunities provide a head start in understanding the corporate environment and gaining hands-on experience. Below are 15 top internships designed for ambitious high school students ready to start on their professional journeys.

1. Microsoft Discovery Program

  • Location: Redmond, Washington
  • Stipend: Paid
  • Internship Dates: Information for 2024 will be posted in February 2024
  • Eligibility: Open to rising first-year students of a bachelor’s degree program (graduating high school seniors) who live within 50 miles of Redmond, Washington, and are interested in technology. Students must be at least 16 years old and have a legal right to work in the U.S. for the duration of the program.

The Microsoft Discovery Program is an exceptional opportunity for students at the cusp of their college journey, particularly those with a passion for technology and innovation. This 4-week, paid internship is designed for high school graduates about to enter their first year of college. Participants, or “Discoverers,” explore Microsoft, exploring the intricacies of computer science, developing essential career skills, and receiving mentorship from experienced professionals.

The program particularly interests students affiliated with certain Microsoft-sponsored organizations, highlighting a commitment to community involvement and diversity.

microsoft signage

2. Ladders for Leaders

  • Location: New York City
  • Stipend: At least $16 an hour
  • Internship Dates: Unspecified
  • Application Deadline: 03/01/2024
  • Eligibility: Youth between the ages of 16—24 who are enrolled in high school or college, resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City, prior work experience, either paid or volunteer, legally allowed to work in the United States

Ladders for Leaders, a part of New York City’s comprehensive Summer Youth Employment Program, provides high school and college students a platform to engage in paid internships across various industries.

This program stands out for its competitive selection process and intensive pre-employment training, which includes resume writing, interview preparation, and workplace etiquette. It’s an opportunity for young individuals to enter the professional world with the knowledge and skills needed for success.

Eligibility for Ladders for Leaders is broad, welcoming New York City residents with any work experience, whether paid or volunteer. The program offers valuable work experience and entry into an expansive alumni network, with access to further job opportunities and networking events. It’s a bridge to the future, helping students to explore their career and educational interests in a supportive and dynamic environment.

3. Wharton Global Youth Programs

  • Location: San Francisco, CA; Cambridge, UK
  • Cost: $100
  • Internship Dates: Unspecified
  • Application Deadline: Leadership in the Business World (LBW) – April 3, 2024; Management & Technology Institute (M&TSI) – April 1, 2024; San Francisco, CA – April 3, 2024; Cambridge, UK – April 3, 2024; Sports Business Academy – May 1, 2024; Moneyball Academy: Training Camp FLEX – January 1, 2024
  • Eligibility: Minimum 3.3 unweighted GPA, or equivalent (minimum 3.5 unweighted GPA preferred for Leadership in the Business World and the Management and Technology Summer Institute), thoughtful, well-written essays that express interest in the program content, recommendations that convey academic performance and potential, an array of extracurricular activities and/or personal achievements that denote intellectual curiosity, ability to collaborate, initiative and ambition, or diversity of interests and ideas.

Hosted by the prestigious Wharton School, these programs invite high school students to immerse themselves in business education. Tailored for students in grades 9–11, these experiences delve into business topics under the guidance of Wharton’s esteemed faculty.

From engaging classroom discussions to hands-on activities, these programs offer a variety of learning experiences. The range includes intensive three-week sessions on design thinking and product development, entrepreneurship essentials, finance, leadership, data science, and sports analytics.

Each program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of its respective field, encouraging students to work in teams, participate in simulations, and build global networks.

4. FDIC Economist

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Stipend: $47,863
  • Internship Dates: School year, breaks, and holidays
  • Eligibility: Applicants must have been accepted for enrollment or are enrolled and seeking a degree in a qualifying educational institution on a full or half-time basis with an anticipated graduation date on or after May 2024, with a major in Economics, have at least a cumulative GPA of 2.5 out of 4.0, and remain in good academic standing.

As one of the top business internships for high school students, the FDIC Economist internship offers a unique chance to explore the economics within the federal banking system. Interns assist in researching financial and economic data, contributing to the analysis of risks to the FDIC’s deposit insurance funds.

This internship involves collecting and analyzing economic information, utilizing software to extract data, and generating reports. It’s an excellent opportunity for students interested in economics to gain firsthand experience in a professional setting, develop analytical skills, and understand the economic considerations critical to the banking sector. The program welcomes students from high school to graduate levels, prioritizing those pursuing degrees in Economics.

a male economics degree doing his job

5. DOROT Summer Teen Internship Program

  • Location: Manhattan, Long Island
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: June 24 – July 18, July 23 – August 15, July 22 – August 15
  • Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors can intern

This program is a unique chance for high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to work alongside peers focused on social consciousness, aiming to connect generations. Participants engage in activities with older adults, such as discussion groups, home visits, and tech assistance, which allows them to earn over 112 community service hours.

The program emphasizes giving back and helps students develop leadership skills. Students who join this program gain valuable experience in leadership and community service, preparing them for future roles in various fields.

6. The Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI)

  • Location: New York City, NY
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: TBA
  • Eligibility: Any public high school student in the NYC five boroughs, including and especially those who identify as female and or gender expansive, who are currently attending low-income high schools or schools participating in the Title I- free or reduced lunch program.

BALI continues the work of New York Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug by training young individuals, especially from communities that have historically been marginalized. It focuses on building confidence and key leadership skills in youth, encouraging them to become effective leaders. BALI offers several programs:

  • Virtual After School Program: For NYC students aged 13-18, focusing on leadership and debate skills.
  • In-school and After-school Programs: Tailored leadership and debate workshops for students in specific NYC schools.
  • Summer Programs: Intensive leadership and debate training for students aged 13-21, held at Hunter College.
  • Millie King Entrepreneurship Program: Teaches high school seniors and college students about social entrepreneurship.
  • One-Day Debate Tournaments: In partnership with the NYC Urban Debate League, these competitions encourage debate and discussion.
  • Mentoring Program: Matches high school juniors and seniors with professional mentors in their intended career fields.

7. High School Business Internship with PNNL

  • Location: PNNL
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: August to May
  • Eligibility: The applicant must be a high school student interested in a business career

This internship is one of the best business internships for high school students and is perfect for students interested in the business side of scientific research. Participants split their day between school and working at PNNL, engaging in tasks under the guidance of mentors.

The program includes work experience and educational activities like lab demonstrations and career workshops. Interested students can apply from early February, with all application materials required to be combined into a single PDF file. This includes a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and a personal statement.

a group of public relations students gathered in one table

 

8. Building-U Internship

  • Location: Online
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: Internships run year-round
  • Eligibility: Currently enrolled in high school: 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade

Building-U offers a virtual real estate and urban development internship accessible from anywhere. Participants join teams tackling various projects, from resource research and development to social media content creation. The program features several teams, including:

  • Resource R&D: Research and write-up on featured programs.
  • Student Ambassadors: Engage in networking and create a YouTube series.
  • Multi-media: Produce video content for campaigns and events.
  • Marketing: Work on Google Ad campaigns and analyze marketing data.
  • Blog Squad: Focus on education and its impacts through articles and discussions.
  • Coding Team: Learn and apply coding skills to real projects.
  • Business and Development: Develop partnerships and funding strategies.

9. KP Launch Internship

  • Location: Northern California Kaiser Permanente designated service area
  • Stipend: $15.50 – $18 per hour
  • Internship Dates: June 17th – August 2nd
  • Application Deadline: Applications are CLOSED for Summer 2024
  • Eligibility: High school interns must be ages 16 – 19 by June 1st, 2024

The KP LAUNCH internship offers high school students practical experience in the healthcare sector, focusing on administrative and support roles rather than direct patient care. This initiative is designed to introduce students to the healthcare environment through a paid seven-week summer program, enriching their understanding of the field.

Participants engage in weekly workshops that enhance personal and professional skills, fostering growth and development. The program emphasizes mentorship, allowing interns to gain insights into healthcare careers and build connections within the industry through networking opportunities and work-based activities.

Aiming to increase diversity in healthcare careers, KP LAUNCH encourages students from diverse and underserved backgrounds to apply, particularly those without previous healthcare exposure. This program equips students with valuable experiences and skills, preparing them for future opportunities in healthcare and beyond.

10. YouthBridge

  • Location: NYC
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: late August – June
  • Application Deadline: Friday, March 29th
  • Eligibility: Must be a high school sophomore, able to travel to two meetings per month in NYC, willing to learn about new perspectives and share yours.

The YouthBridge-NY Fellowship program, one of the best business internships for high school students, offers high school sophomores a unique opportunity to grow and contribute to society over two years. Starting with an orientation that builds strong connections among participants, the program leads students through activities designed to enhance leadership and understanding of diversity. In the first year, students engage in workshops and projects addressing key social issues, developing skills in problem-solving and advocacy. As they enter the second year, the focus shifts to advanced learning and practical experiences, including mentorship and networking with professionals.

This fellowship is a chance to join a community of like-minded individuals committed to making a difference. Students gain real-world skills and a deeper appreciation for diversity and social justice by volunteering and collaborating on meaningful projects. YouthBridge-NY equips participants with the tools needed for future success while fostering a sense of responsibility toward creating positive societal change.

unidentified person holding a calculator while their other hand is holding a pen pointed at a graph printed on paper

11. Jimerson Birr High School Internship Program

  • Location: Unspecified
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: 4-6 weeks
  • Eligibility: Motivated, self-starter, enthusiastic about learning how a polished legal firm runs, exhibits excellent communication skills and a natural curiosity to learn.

The Jimerson Birr School Internship Program offers high school students an engaging introduction to the professional world within a dynamic legal setting. Interns become active team members from day one, diving into real work across different departments such as legal services, marketing, and technology. This direct involvement helps students understand the various facets of running a successful business law firm and builds practical skills useful in any career.

The program is designed to enhance professional growth, offering students a practical experience that complements their academic pursuits. By working closely with experienced professionals, interns gain valuable insights and knowledge that prepare them for college and beyond. Jimerson Birr’s commitment to developing future leaders is evident in this program, which aims to equip interns with a solid career foundation, fostering a sense of responsibility, teamwork, and innovation.

12. Bank of America Student Leaders

  • Location: Varies
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: July 22-27, 2024
  • Application Deadline: January 17, 2024
  • Eligibility: Must be a junior or senior in high school, legally authorized to work in the United States without sponsorship through the end of September 2024

As one of the top business internships for high school students, the Bank of America Student Leaders® program provides high school juniors and seniors with a unique combination of practical internship experience at local nonprofits and a leadership summit. This initiative helps participants develop important skills by engaging directly in community work and leadership activities.

Through the program, students contribute to meaningful projects and learn about the nonprofit sector’s impact on society. The application requires a recommendation letter, highlighting the need for applicants to show a strong record of leadership and community involvement.

This opportunity prepares young individuals for future challenges by offering insights into professional environments and fostering a commitment to civic engagement. Bank of America supports young leaders by giving them the tools and knowledge to make a difference in their communities and beyond.

13. High School Internships at Port of Seattle

  • Location: SEA Airport or along the Seattle waterfront
  • Stipend: Paid
  • Internship Dates: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: At least 16 years of age before the beginning of the internship, currently enrolled in high school, recently graduated from high school (no more than 12 months removed), or currently, in a GED completion program

The Port of Seattle High School Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for students to start their professional careers early. Unlike typical summer jobs, this program allows interns to work on significant projects that affect the community and economy, ensuring their tasks are meaningful and contribute to their professional growth. The program includes various focus areas such as aviation, maritime, governance, community engagement, and environmental sustainability, providing various experiences.

Interns at the Port of Seattle will learn valuable corporate skills and business practices, including diversity, project management, networking, and leadership. These skills are taught through practical work, mentorship, tours, and workshops to equip students for future success in any career path they choose. The program is open to motivated high school students interested in gaining real-world experience and developing their professional abilities.

Language teacher having a lecture in a room.

14. KPMG Future Leaders Scholarship

  • Location: Unspecified
  • Stipend: Scholarship $10,000 per year for four years
  • Internship Dates: Unspecified
  • Eligibility: High school female senior planning to enroll in a four-year undergraduate program for the upcoming 2024 fall semester, demonstrates significant financial need (average recipient household income from the last three years was $33,000), United States citizen or permanent resident (includes all U.S. territories)

The KPMG Future Leaders Program, one of the best business internships for high school students, is dedicated to cultivating women leaders in business and STEM by supporting 22 female high school seniors each year. Participants in the program receive financial support and benefit from leadership training, assistance during their transition to college, and career guidance. A unique feature of the program is the pairing of each recipient with an executive woman mentor for a year, offering personalized advice and insights into professional development.

An independent committee selects the recipients based on their potential for leadership and interest in business or STEM, ensuring those chosen represent a diverse and ambitious group. The program’s focus goes beyond financial aid; it aims to equip these future leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their careers and make meaningful contributions to their fields. Through comprehensive support and mentorship, the KPMG Future Leaders Program is crucial in preparing young women for the challenges and opportunities they will face in the professional world.

15. Department of Education Internship Opportunities

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Stipend: Unspecified
  • Internship Dates: Student Volunteer Trainees: eight to ten weeks; Pathways Interns NTE: up to 1-year or longer, with possible extension; Pathways Interns (indefinite appointment): more than 1-year; Pathways Recent Graduates: 1-year program; Pathways PMF: 2-year program
  • Application Deadline: Student Volunteer: Fall: July 31st, Winter/Spring: November 30th, Summer: March 31st; Pathways Internship: Summer: Open for five days starting February 15th, Fall: Open for five days starting June 15th; Pathways Recent Graduates: Summer: Open for five days starting April 15th, Fall: Open for five days starting June 15th; PMF: Based on OPM’s announcement
  • Eligibility: Student Trainee Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, attend an accredited educational institution, have permission from their institution to participate, be enrolled not less than half-time, and, if not a U.S. citizen, meet specific residency and visa requirements.

The Department of Education’s Internship Program is an enriching opportunity for students and recent graduates interested in government and federal education policy. This program offers practical work experience and allows participants to contribute to the department’s goal of improving education nationwide. Interns work in various areas, including policy development, data analysis, and project management, gaining a comprehensive understanding of the education sector’s challenges and opportunities.

The program is designed to equip interns with valuable skills and professional experiences directly applicable to their future careers. Through a combination of hands-on work, professional development workshops, and networking events, interns leave the program well-prepared for careers in public service. The potential for job placement within the federal government, especially through the Pathways Programs, underscores the program’s value as a career launchpad.

The Importance of Early Exposure to Business Concepts

Business internships for high school students are crucial for early professional development. These internships combine classroom learning with real-world experience, igniting interest in business while teaching valuable skills for future success.

a girl with a planner, studying in the library smiles at the camera

Key Skills Gained from Business Internships

  • Problem-Solving: Students tackle real business issues, enhancing their ability to analyze situations and find solutions.
  • Leadership and Teamwork: Interns learn how effective teams operate and what makes a good leader by working on projects and sometimes leading them.
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Exposure to the business world encourages innovative thinking and teaches the basics of starting and running a business.
  • Communication: Students improve their ability to communicate professionally in writing and speaking and learn the importance of networking.
  • Time Management: Balancing internship duties with schoolwork teaches students to manage their time efficiently.

Long-term Advantages

  • Stand Out in Applications: Internship experience makes students more attractive to colleges and employers.
  • Career Exploration: Students get a taste of different business areas, helping them choose their college majors and career paths wisely.
  • Apply Classroom Knowledge: Internships provide a chance to use what’s learned in school in real business situations.
  • Mentorship: Professional mentors offer valuable insights and guidance, influencing students’ career choices and growth.
  • Professional Skills: Early immersion in a business setting teaches professionalism, ethics, and responsibility.

Business internships for high school students prepare them with practical skills and give them a head start in their careers and college applications. By bridging classroom theory with the real world, these internships play a pivotal role in shaping future business leaders and entrepreneurs.

How to Choose the Right Business Internship

Choosing the right business internship as a high school student can be a pivotal step in shaping your career path, providing you with invaluable experience, skills, and insights into the professional world.

With the increasing competition in the job market, securing a business internship while still in high school can set you apart from your peers, offering a unique opportunity to explore your interests, develop professional skills, and make informed decisions about your future career.

Here, we’ll guide high school students through selecting the right business internship, focusing on understanding personal interests, setting career goals, developing necessary skills, and navigating the application process.

Understanding Personal Interests and Career Goals

The first step in choosing the right business internship is reflecting on your interests and career goals. Ask yourself what aspects of business excite you the most. Is it marketing, finance, entrepreneurship, or perhaps international business? Understanding your interests will help you target internships that align with your passions, making the experience more engaging and fulfilling.

Next, consider your career goals. Where do you see yourself in five to ten years? Are you aiming to start your own business, climb the corporate ladder, or make a significant impact in a non-profit organization? Identifying your long-term objectives will help you choose internships that can serve as stepping stones toward achieving your career aspirations.

Researching Internship Opportunities

Once you clearly understand your interests and goals, the next step is to research internship opportunities that align with them. Look for businesses and organizations that are known for their robust internship programs. Many large corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) offer internships specifically designed for high school students, providing a structured experience with opportunities for learning and development.

Utilize online platforms, career fairs, and your school’s career services to find available internships. Networking can also be a powerful tool in your search. Contact family members, teachers, and professionals in your desired field for advice and potential leads. Social media platforms like LinkedIn can also be instrumental in connecting with companies and industry professionals.

Evaluating the Internship Program

When evaluating potential business internships for high school students, consider the following factors to ensure the program aligns with your needs and goals:

  • Program Structure: Look for internships that offer a well-defined structure with clear objectives, tasks, and learning outcomes. A structured program will provide a more comprehensive learning experience, helping you better understand the business world.
  • Mentorship and Support: An internship that offers mentorship can be incredibly valuable. Having a mentor in the business field can provide guidance, feedback, and insights that can enhance your learning and professional development.
  • Opportunities for Skill Development: Choose an internship that offers opportunities to develop both hard and soft skills. Hard skills like data analysis, financial modeling, or digital marketing are specific to business and will directly apply to your future career. Soft skills like communication, teamwork, and problem-solving are transferable and equally important in any professional setting.
  • Company Culture and Values: The culture and values of the company hosting the internship can significantly impact your experience. Look for companies whose culture aligns with your values and offers an environment where you can thrive.
  • Eligibility Criteria and Application Process: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the internships you are interested in. Pay close attention to the application process, deadlines, and required materials. A well-prepared application can greatly increase your chances of securing your desired internship.

Laughing women

Preparing a Strong Application

A strong application is key to securing a business internship. Here are some tips to make your application stand out:

  • Tailor Your Resume and Cover Letter: Customize your resume and cover letter for each internship application, highlighting the skills and experiences most relevant to the position.
  • Showcase Your Achievements: Include any relevant academic achievements, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or previous work experiences that demonstrate your skills and interests in business.
  • Prepare for Interviews: If selected, prepare by researching the company, rehearsing your responses to common interview questions, and thinking of questions to ask the interviewer.
  • Follow-up: After submitting your application or completing an interview, send a thank-you note to express your appreciation for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the internship.

Choosing the right business internship as a high school student requires careful consideration of your interests, career goals, and the skills you wish to develop. By researching internship opportunities, evaluating the programs’ offerings, and preparing a strong application, you can secure an internship that offers valuable experience and sets the foundation for a successful career in business.

Conclusion

Business internships for high school students are more than just summer jobs; they are stepping stones to academic and professional achievement. Through these programs, students gain early exposure to the business world, develop essential skills, and begin to carve out their future career paths.

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