Taking Time Out of High School to Learn About the Working World
There’s so much to keep up with in high school. Between studying, sports, music or other extracurricular activities, and maintaining a social life, nobody expects you to know what you might want to do after college. However, there is an easy and fun way to gain experience in the workplace: A summer internship.
Many companies, hospitals, associations and other workplaces offer summer internship programs for high school students who have completed their sophomore or junior year. An internship will give you the opportunity to see first-hand whether or not the kind of job you think you might like really suits you. Maybe you think you want to be a doctor, but after interning at a hospital, you might find there are aspects of the job that don’t suit you. Or, on the other hand, maybe you’ll feel you’ve found the career of your dreams. However, you won’t know until you gain experience in a real work environment.
The Internet is a valuable resource for finding internship opportunities. Doing a quick Google search for “high school internships” will bring up a wealth of information. Another good way to find an internship is to call the places where you would like to work and ask if they offer intern programs. If you know someone who works at a place you think might be interesting, call them. It never hurts to ask!
Companies and organizations with established internship programs usually offer the best overall experience. If a company or organization has an internship program in place, they usually make sure the intern gains experience in many different departments and aspects of the business.
Before accepting an internship, you’ll want to ask about the type of work you’ll be performing. Some organizations may have interns only do administrative work, which can be valuable for part of your time, but you also want to be sure that you’ll be doing work that allows you to learn what the type of business you’ve chosen is all about. Also ask if the internship is a paid position. Along with all that you’ll learn, it may be a good way to make some money during your summer vacation. However, even if the internship is unpaid, the experience will still be valuable.
And remember – don’t be shy. Interact as much as you can with different employees. Ask them about their jobs and get to know what their typical workday is like. The time you spend interning is extremely beneficial and can be enhanced by speaking with as many of the company’s full-time employees as possible. Most people are more than willing to tell you about what they do and what they tell you may prove to be some of the best information you learn on the job.
Doing an internship is a fun and enjoyable way to get to know about the type of job you think you’d like. And when it comes time for college admissions, your work experience will be one more thing to help you stand out from the crowd.