Last Updated: Mar 25, 2017
Since spring has officially sprung, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about summer internships. Interning is a great way to gain experience and explore career options. It also provides important skills and a network of professionals that can mentor you and guide you on your career path. Though a lot of opportunities are directed toward college students, there are still plenty of options for those still in high school. The real challenge comes in finding an internship that is right for you and your interests, so be sure to keep a few things in mind.
Related: You (Yes, You!) Need an Internship
Deciding what you want in an internship is the best place to start. Consider what areas you are interested in, such as nonprofit work, engineering, or business, for example. If you have an idea of what you would like to study in college, gaining experience in that field will be extremely valuable. Even if you don’t know what you want to do at this point, interning in fields that seem interesting to you can help you figure out what you want in a career, plus what you don’t. Also, consider what works best for you in terms of the location, date, duration, and weekly hours of an internship. If you are not able to work full time for 10 weeks straight in a structured internship program, there are plenty of other opportunities available, so seek them out.
Related: What Are Internships Really Like?
Once you have a sense of what you are looking for, research opportunities and utilize your connections. Search online for internships that may interest you using websites such as internships.com or internshipfinder.com. Reach out to family members, friends, teachers, or guidance counselors that may have connections related to your interests. If you have a specific organization or company in mind, don’t hesitate to contact someone there; you never know what could happen! In my experience, I was interested in interning at a music venue in order to see how their marketing departments worked, so I contacted the owner to explore my options.
It is also important to remember that some internship sites are very competitive (think Google and Microsoft), so applying early and having all the necessary materials completed is crucial.
If you happen to be looking for something more short term, consider participating in a job shadow for a day or two. By shadowing someone in your field of interest, you can experience what average workday responsibilities would entail. This is also a great option if you are looking to explore many different careers before you commit to a long-term internship, job, or major.
Are you interested in an internship this summer? Do you have one already lined up? Let us know in the comments!