How to Get Internships in High School

Internships are one of the most valuable experiences you should take advantage of as soon as you get the chance. Not only does an internship complement your resume for future employers, but it helps you develop professional skills, gives you working experience, and provides you with more significant insights into various careers!
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Standing out from the Crowd 🌱

There are countless ways you can involve yourself invaluable experiences to develop your resumé. You could try becoming a freelancer and find clients, volunteer, or job shadow. Below, we have highlighted the three most common activities where students develop skills and experience specific to what they want to pursue.

Volunteering Activities 🙌

There are many volunteering activities you could partake in within your local or greater community. This could be tutoring for a local school, serving a nearby church, or even volunteering for the Fiveable AP Student Community! Regardless, you’ll be able to productively work with peers towards accomplishing a specific task without expecting anything in return.  Remember that volunteering can be done in person or virtually.  Opportunities may be formal (require an application) or informal (asking organizations if you can help!).  

Clubs & Extracurriculars 🏐🎵🎭🎨

Clubs and extracurriculars at your school are great outlets for you to develop a diverse range of skills, including competitive, collaborative, or social skills. Whether you gain a leadership position, compete in a state or national competition, or just socialize with friends, you’re gaining valuable experience that is helpful for both skills development and a resumé! If you are in homeschool, you could involve yourself in a local athletics program or summer program.

Student Organizations 🗣️✍️

Student organizations are organizations created by students for students. They range from newspapers to volunteer tutoring classes. Whether you’re founding a student organization or supporting the journey of another, this experience helps you develop significant skills, ranging anywhere from leadership and communication skills, to writing and marketing knowledgeability. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to collaborate with other students and work towards a common mission.

How to Apply to an Internship 📧

Internships can be difficult to search for, especially as a young high school student. However, the three points below can help you target specific outreach initiatives that can help support your pursuits in applying and getting an internship.

Developing a Portfolio & Resume 📜

All of your experiences and achievements should be housed within a portfolio and resume. By showcasing everything you are proud of, you can effectively show why you are a fitting candidate who would be a valuable asset to your employer.

Don't know where to start? Check out this video that delves into creating and perfecting your resumé.

Now that you've built up a resume, it’s time to find an internship!

Check out this guide for tips to polish your resumé!

Effectively Reaching Out (Cold Calling/Emailing) 📞

Reaching out to employers to request internships can be difficult, primarily because it is inevitable that you will face many rejections from companies that don’t want to or don’t need to hire interns. If you can effectively show how and why you would be valuable for the company in as few words as possible—and if you can tailor your email or call specifically for that company—the company may invite you to become an intern!

This Fiveable guide includes a cold email template that can be adapted for internships!

Utilizing LinkedIn 🌐

LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that enables you to search for jobs, network and grow your professional influence, and post content that can increase your visibility on the platform. Millions of professionals utilize this resource from across the globe to find jobs or candidates for jobs. Using this platform can help you grow your presence and search for internships faster if you actively use LinkedIn.

For tips on utilizing LinkedIn, check out this guide!

Check out THIS list of companies that will hire high school interns

Things to Remember 💭

Finding a valuable internship is an exhilarating experience. No matter what happens, you’ll learn both valuable skills and important life lessons. We definitely know that the search can get tough, so we wanted to leave you with very important reminders:

  1. Facing Rejections 😥 Getting rejected from an internship is inevitable. In fact, getting rejected from any job is bound to happen. The hiring process and selection of candidates are more competitive than ever. You need to know that perfection during the application process isn’t realistic and that you’ve tried your best with every application!
  2. Tailoring Your Applications ✎ Tailoring your internship applications so they’re specific to an employer may take time, but it’s definitely worth it! When you write your application and cover letter specific to a company, you show how you are valuable for that company specifically, rather than writing something that is general and vague.
  3. Gaining Experiences to Showcase Takes Time 🕰️ Regardless of the activities you’re involved in, building a showcase of accomplishments takes time. Developing both leadership skills and a showcase that houses your achievements isn’t a light switch—it’s a dial that slowly continues to turn as you actively pursue your goals.

You Got This ⁨💪

Remember that you got this!! Continue to actively pursue activities that can support your professional journey and help you find a valuable internship. We at Fiveable are rooting for you!

If you're looking for something different, check out this article on finding research opportunities!

Guide Outline

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