Exploring Career Paths with High School Internships

August 3, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Exploring Career Paths with High School Internships

High school internships are an exciting journey for high school students. They provide an opportunity for students to gain valuable work experience, explore different career paths, and develop skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors.

These internships offer a unique and hands-on approach to learning about various industries and professional environments. By participating in internships, students can gain a better understanding of their interests and passions and make informed decisions about their future careers.

AdmissionSight will help you explore the benefits of internships, how to find the right internship opportunities, and how to make the most of the experience. Read more to know how they can help shape your future career.

What is an internship?

What is an internship? What sets an internship apart from other types of job experience, such as volunteer work or paid employment? Simply put, an internship is temporary work experience gained within a given organization for a predetermined amount of time.

In contrast to volunteering or less formal work experience, internships typically involve fulfilling a defined role and set of responsibilities inside an organization.

Internships are frequently used as a recruitment tool for full-time positions within companies. Before selecting whether or not to hire someone on a permanent basis, they look at it as a trial period first. There is a possibility that you could land your first job after graduation through an internship, but only if you play your cards well.

How long do internships last?

How long does it take to do an internship? This is something that is dependent on the internship and the company that it is with. The length of time spent working as an intern might range anywhere from a few weeks to an entire calendar year.

High school internships often run for two to three months during the summer break, whereas internships for graduate students typically run for a longer period of time. However, this varies greatly.

Group of people talking in front of a computer.

Can those under 18 apply for an internship?

Can those under 18 apply for an internship? Although it is possible to begin an internship at the age of 14, the majority of businesses will probably impose their own age limitations at the age of 16 or above.

This is because there are rules that regulate the number of hours that children under the age of 16 can work as well as the type of employment that they can accomplish.

Even if you are 16 years old, you are not free from all of the laws that the government has in place. There are many laws that still go into effect regarding total work hours and the incapacity to work in potentially dangerous conditions.

Another reason for age restrictions is that some younger children may not be mature enough to intern in a hospital and may not be strong enough to intern at a construction business. These two types of internships require a certain level of maturity and physical strength, respectively.

There shouldn’t be any internships that are inaccessible because of age after a person reaches the age of 18, although they are still feasible even before that point, depending on the laws of the company.

What are the different types of internships available?

High school internships can be an exciting way to explore different career paths, understand various industries, and develop essential skills. Understanding the different types of internships available can help students find the best fit for their interests and career goals.

Research Internships

Research internships are an excellent avenue for students interested in fields like biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, or social sciences. Whether in a laboratory, university setting, or research institution, students can immerse themselves in scientific inquiries and contribute to cutting-edge discoveries.

  • Opportunities: Assisting in experiments, data collection and analysis, literature reviews, and even contributing to research papers.
  • Benefits: Developing analytical and critical thinking skills, learning research methodologies, working with experienced scientists or academics.

Business and Marketing Internships

Business and marketing internships are tailored for students looking towards a future in the dynamic world of commerce, finance, or advertising. From multinational corporations to vibrant startups, opportunities abound in this field.

  • Opportunities: Participating in product development, analyzing market trends, designing marketing campaigns, assisting in strategic planning, understanding financial operations.
  • Benefits: Learning about business strategies, enhancing communication and teamwork skills, building a network with professionals in the industry.

business students brainstorming

Arts and Media Internships

Creative minds thrive in arts and media internships. These internships cater to students with talents in visual arts, writing, design, filmmaking, music, or other creative disciplines.

  • Opportunities: Working on artistic projects, collaborating in film production, writing articles for magazines or online platforms, designing graphics or user experiences.
  • Benefits: Enhancing creative skills, understanding media and entertainment industries, building a portfolio, connecting with artists and industry experts.

Government and Non-Profit Internships

Government and non-profit internships provide a unique perspective into public administration, politics, policy-making, social work, or humanitarian efforts.

  • Opportunities: Assisting in public service projects, researching policies, working on community outreach programs, engaging in advocacy or fundraising.
  • Benefits: Developing a sense of civic responsibility, understanding governmental processes, making an impact in community or global issues.

Tech and Engineering Internships

For those inclined towards technology and engineering fields, internships in software development, hardware engineering, or information technology can be rewarding.

  • Opportunities: Writing code, participating in product development, working on engineering projects, testing software or hardware systems.
  • Benefits: Acquiring technical skills, understanding the latest technological trends, working in innovative environments, collaborating with engineers and tech professionals.

Healthcare and Medical Internships

Students interested in medicine, nursing, or healthcare administration can find internships that provide hands-on experience in hospitals, clinics, or healthcare organizations.

  • Opportunities: Observing medical procedures, assisting healthcare professionals, engaging in patient care, understanding medical administration.
  • Benefits: Gaining insights into healthcare systems, developing empathy and communication skills, understanding medical ethics.

medical students wearing scrubs looking at the camera

Selecting the right type of internship helps in aligning the experience with future career aspirations, ensuring that students gain relevant skills and insights. It’s an opportunity to dip a toe into potential career paths, learn from professionals in the field, and grow both personally and professionally.

By understanding the various options available, students can make informed choices that can significantly shape their future careers and education paths. High school guidance counselors, online resources, and career fairs are valuable tools to help explore and find the internship that best fits individual interests and goals.

How much do high school internships pay?

What is the salary for internships? As is the case with age restrictions, there are a variety of considerations that go into determining whether or not an internship is compensated monetarily. The Department of Labor has outlined seven criteria that must be met in order for an internship to be unpaid. These criteria are as follows:

  • It is understood that neither the intern nor the employer will receive money for the work that is performed during the internship.
  • There is no assurance that the intern will be offered a paid position upon completion of the internship.
  • The intern will get training that is similar to what they would receive in an educational setting.
  • The intern will benefit from the experience gained via the internship.
  • The job does not conflict with the intern’s commitments to their academic studies.
  • The internship is directly related to the formal education program that the intern is enrolled in (either through integrated coursework or the earning of academic credit).
  • The job done by the intern does not take the place of any paid workers.

In the event that any of the aforementioned conditions are not met, an intern is obligated to be compensated for their time. However, the vast majority of internships, if not all of them, do not offer financial compensation.

Why are internships good for high school students?

Why should students consider participating in high school internships? These are the top five reasons why you should get an internship while you’re still in high school.

See If Your Career Choice Fits

You have the rest of your life to be successful in whatever field you want to pursue. The time has come for you to determine which of your passions can be turned into a career. You will be better prepared for future success and uncover these things about yourself if you participate in an internship.

Gain Related Experience

An internship is an answer to your problem if you are seeking a terrific way to swiftly learn foundational work skills, knowledge, and experience in any career field. They give you the opportunity to begin with fundamental work skills, and from that point on, you may rapidly expand upon your core set of abilities.

Make Connections and Network

Internships are about a great deal more than gaining experience and education. You never know when a connection you make at an internship will turn into a job offer. In fact, this is one of the reasons why developing connections and building relationships is such a significant part of an internship.

Improve Your Resume or Applications

It’s possible that you want to get a head start on your future job while you’re still in high school or that you want to determine whether or not the degree you want to pursue in college is suitable for you. You will gain tremendously from participating in high school internships, and it will help you stand out when you apply for jobs or colleges after you graduate.

When applying for a job or college, you can also ask the supervisor of your internship to serve as a reference for you. In addition, they will be able to elaborate on their time spent mentoring you and working with you in a letter of recommendation that they write for you.

a student writing a college essay

Load Up on Opportunity

It’s the place to be if you want to go places or gain the attention of a major corporation. Because some internships are willing to pay, participating in one gives you a chance to gain your first paid experience in the professional world. Participating in an internship is another approach to increasing the likelihood that your goals will be realized.

How can internships enhance college admissions prospects?

In an era where the college admissions process is highly competitive, standing out from the crowd is essential. Internships offer an opportunity for students to not only explore career paths but also to demonstrate qualities that colleges look for in applicants.

Here’s how internships can make a significant difference in college admissions prospects:

Skill Development

  • Understanding the Field: Internships allow students to delve into specific areas related to their desired field of study, showing colleges that they are serious about their career goals.
  • Soft Skills: Skills such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership are often developed during internships, making students more well-rounded.
  • Technical Skills: Depending on the nature of the internship, students may also gain specialized technical skills that align with their intended major, showcasing their preparation for higher education.

Demonstrates Initiative

  • Proactive Learning: Engaging in an internship reveals a student’s initiative and commitment to expanding their education beyond the traditional classroom.
  • Responsibility and Maturity: Taking on an internship requires a level of responsibility and maturity that speaks volumes about a student’s readiness for college life.

Connection to Career Goals

  • Alignment with Interests: An internship that aligns with a student’s intended major or career goals can illustrate a clear and directed educational path.
  • Building a Narrative: This connection can be used to build a compelling narrative in college essays, demonstrating purpose, passion, and planning in the student’s academic journey.

Real-world Experience

  • Practical Insights: Internships offer real-world, hands-on experiences that give students unique perspectives, helping them connect theoretical knowledge with practical application.
  • Contributions in Interviews and Essays: These insights can be articulated in college essays or interviews, providing authentic and engaging stories that resonate with admissions officers.

Networking Opportunities

  • Building Professional Relationships: Through internships, students often make connections with professionals who can provide guidance, mentorship, and potentially, strong letters of recommendation.
  • Understanding the Professional World: Networking also offers insights into the professional environment, enhancing students’ understanding of what to expect in their future careers.

Reflection and Personal Growth

  • Self-discovery: Internships can be a time of personal growth and self-discovery, helping students to understand their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
  • Building Confidence: Successfully completing an internship can boost students’ confidence in their abilities, preparing them mentally for the challenges of college life.

Asian beautiful woman thinking idea with laptop computer in coffee shop

High school internships are not merely about professional growth but can be a strategic move in enhancing college admission prospects. By providing a combination of skill development, real-world experience, initiative demonstration, and connection to career goals, internships can play a pivotal role in making an applicant stand out.

They add depth to a student’s profile and reflect a readiness for the challenges and opportunities that higher education offers. For students seeking to make an impression on college admissions committees, internships represent an investment in their future, offering tangible benefits that go far beyond the resume.

Guidance counselors, mentors, and online resources can assist students in finding suitable internships that align with their academic and career ambitions, turning an internship experience into a powerful asset in the college admissions process.

How to apply for an internship as a student?

How may a student submit an application for an internship position? The greatest advice on how to land an internship is presented below.

  1. Determine the kind of internship you are interested in.
  2. Obtain a referral.
  3. Put together a resume.
  4. Look for available internships.
  5. Get back to them and follow up with them.
  6. Get ready for the interview.
  7. Show up for the interview.
  8. Follow-up after an interview.

Are internships worth it?

Are internships really necessary? Internships are not necessary for everyone, but they can be a valuable opportunity for students and recent graduates to gain real-world experience and make industry connections in their chosen field.

Internships can give you real-world training, the chance to work on projects, and the chance to watch and learn from professionals with more experience.

Are you unsure of what steps to take in preparing for college admissions? Whether you are interested in participating in high school internships or exploring other options, our team of experts at AdmissionSight is here to guide you every step of the way.

Book a consultation with us today and start planning for your future!


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