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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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Internships in High School?

Experience! Experience! Experience! Any college professor or career services professional will drill into his or her students. But what about in high school? How important is it for high schoolers to now have internships and shadowing experiences? And how can a high schooler even land one? We have the answers!

High school is a great way to test the waters in a desired field so your child can better decide what he or she loves, somewhat likes, and hates prior to the college search. Unfortunately, internships are mainly targeted toward college students. Employers may view a high schooler as immature or not far along enough in his or her education to qualify. An internship in high school may be a challenge to land and even manage (10-15 hours per week) but definitely a wonderful learning experience.

Have your child evaluate his or her network, U.S. News advises. Family, family friends, friends’ parents, and school teachers usually have something to offer even if its advice about landing a career in their field. Some websites have a section specifically for high school internships, for example internship.com. If that doesn’t work, your child should reach out to local business by phone call or even social media to see what they are offering. Sometimes the smaller businesses offer the most rewarding experiences.

Once the internship is discovered, your child is ready to apply. Have him or her create a resume and LinkedIn account. He or she should be able to reach out to a college counselor or teacher to review his or her resume. Your child also needs to create and memorize an elevator pitch, which is a 30 second speech that introduces him or herself and then highlights key skills that they could contribute to a business’ team.

Be aware of internships that exploit high school students. An internship should not request any money. If the internship description is vague, proceed with caution. The internship posting or employer should make very clear what the duties will be for any intern. Use common sense, and you will be fine!

If your child cannot land an internship before college, relax. Internships for high schoolers remain uncommon and are not expected on any college application.

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