An internship is defined as “a short-term job that allows the worker, or intern, to gain an introductory experience in a certain profession.” For a long time, internships were targeted at college students. However, more recently, high school internships have gained traction and there are many reasons why they are beneficial for students of this age.
GAIN EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS
An internship provides students with the opportunity to gain work experience in a professional setting. Even if the internship is not in the field they ultimately choose, all students will gain general skills that will help them with any type of work. In fact, the experience alone will give students more confidence as they enter into the professional world.
LEARN ABOUT THEMSELVES AND DIFFERENT CAREERS
Students will learn about themselves personally and professionally and, therefore, be ahead of the curve in comparison to many of their peers. Personally, students will learn about themselves. They will see their strengths and weaknesses play out in the professional world and how they can work on those things in the future. They will also discover what work environments might best suit their personality. Do they like working on a team at all times or more individually? Do they like working with data and spreadsheets, or do they prefer more creative work? Do they like working at a desk or always being on the go? Understanding these things will help them as they make career decisions down the road.
Professionally, students will have early exposure to a field of interest and the opportunity to experience the realities of that field. For some, an internship might confirm the field they were initially interested in, but for other students, they may find the opposite. If students can go through this exploration process before college, they will save time and money in the end.
STRENGTHEN RESUME AND COLLEGE APPLICATIONS
A high school internship, while not mandatory, speaks volumes to prospective colleges and future employers. It demonstrates the student is a hard worker and is willing to take initiative, at an age when not everyone is doing the same. These qualities will help set students apart in various application processes.
An internship will provide the opportunity to begin to build a network of professional contacts. The professionals with whom students meet and interact can become references and key contacts for future internship and job searches. During an internship, students are encouraged to learn as much as they can – not only about particular careers, but also about career paths.
For example, if a student is shadowing a physician, he or she should ask questions about medical school, internships, residencies, or any other experiences that may have shaped that person’s path. Would they change anything if they could go back? What advice do they have for a high school student looking at pursuing medicine? Why did they choose the medical field? What do they like about it? What do they dislike about it?
For all of these reasons, high school internships are a valuable resource for our students at CCES. To be able to have these experiences in the work place early on will only aid them as they graduate to college and beyond.
Click here to learn more about the Junior Internship program at CCES.
Update as of 3/20/20: We are continuing to work hard to secure summer internship opportunities for our students. These uncertain times will affect certain fields like Medicine, but we are already mapping out alternative placements for those students, if needed. Please contact Kim Gendron at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to participate.