5 Reasons Why High School Students Should Pursue Internships
By Zhenyu Qi | Published August 30, 2023
Internships have become a crucial part of students' career journey. Today's competitive job market and college application process present unique challenges to students, especially those without prior experience or connections. This is where internships become important - bridging the gap between academic knowledge and practical experience. Internships provide students with invaluable hands-on experience in professional settings and the necessary skills and insights they need to succeed in their chosen fields.
Career exploration is not a simple aptitude test that you take, nor is it a single activity to be carried out during one year of high school. It is critical that students have the opportunity to build social capital from an early age, according to a survey conducted by the American Student Association
In this article, we will discuss five life-changing reasons why students should intern starting in high school. Let’s get started!
The Power of Self-Discovery
1. The Power of Self-Discovery
For high school students, internships serve as a means to explore their career options and college majors. While students are often influenced by parents or peers to pursue a certain major or career path, internships will empower students to discover their hidden talents and unlock greater potential. Students will get to explore new avenues for professional and personal development by taking part in tasks outside their comfort zones. High school students can gain a deeper understanding of their strengths, interests, and motivations by gaining hands-on experience and exposure to various industries.
The Power of Experience
2. The Power of Experience
As a bridge between academic knowledge and real-world application, internships provide students with firsthand experience in a professional environment. By participating in internships, high school students acquire practical skills, develop their interests outside of school, and showcase their unique accomplishments in ways that are different from their peers. An internship allows students to immerse themselves in different workplace cultures, practice communication skills, and gain exposure to determine whether the career of interest is a good fit.
The value of internships extends beyond experience as interns can showcase their acquired skills on their resumes, get letters of recommendation, or receive job offers, giving students an early competitive edge in high school and laying a solid foundation for future success.
89% of employers said that students with a high school internship will have a competitive advantage when looking for a college internship or full-time job, according to a report by Internships.com
The Power of Confidence
3. The Power of Confidence
Whether it is speaking to clients, presenting to your boss, or producing research materials for the first time, being able to receive constructive feedback and face challenges head-on are some of the best ways to gain confidence. Internships allow high school students to apply their classroom learning and build confidence through real-life professional scenarios.
Through internships, high school students will be encouraged to develop their communication skills, ask relevant questions, and contribute their ideas efficiently. Internships enable high school students to become more confident and prepared for future endeavors.
The Power of Networking
4. The Power of Networking
Taking part in internships gives high school students a unique opportunity to expand their network outside the classroom. Internships allow students to establish meaningful connections with working professionals from diverse backgrounds, creating a powerful network and receiving mentorship from industry leaders for an early head-start on professional and personal development. Networking starts even before you land the internship.
The next time there is a career day or a job fair at your school, make sure to introduce yourself to the company representatives, send a follow-up email, and actually build a professional relationship with that person. Networking is not just about wearing a suit and shaking hands. It’s about meeting people, connecting with them, asking good questions, and being genuinely curious about their careers.
The Power of Transition
5. The Power of Transition
High school students are able to use internships as a pathway to choose the right major for college and make informed post-secondary decisions. Internship experience can be included in a resume or personal essay during the application process. That will boost their college application.
Moreover, once students enter college, they can combine their personal experiences with the academic course material, giving them a more rounded understanding of the topic they're studying.
90 percent of employers agreed that high school internship programs can help students get into better college, according to a report by Internships.com
Pursuing an internship in high school will help students gain valuable exposure, have a better understanding of their own interests and motivation, and build their resume to stand out for college and beyond. Students gain practical experience and insights that they may not otherwise be able to obtain in the classroom.
If you are anxious about finding an internship, one solution is to speak with a mentor or career counselor who can help you connect with companies, guide you in searching for your ideal job, and prepare you for interviews. It can help you gain the skills and experience you need to succeed in your career. A successful internship is an investment in your future.
Accelerates your success with Gateway’s expert mentorship
Gateway mentors students to discover their future career paths, gain exposure, and land hands-on career opportunities. Besides helping students land internships and other career opportunities, we also assist students to build their resumes, master interviewing skills, and succeed in their internships.