Top high school internships

You can start getting work experience now

Internships sound like just a college thing, but they’re not! You can start getting professional experience as a high school student with internships. Internships are positions designed to give students work experience and a chance to learn about a new career interest or field of study. Think this sounds like something you’re interested in? Keep reading for some pointers and a few great internship opportunities!

How to find internships in high school

Before you start scouring the Internet looking for internships, try these tips first:

  • Talk to the people closest to you. Ask friends, family members, teachers, guidance counselors, or anyone else you trust for career advice.
  • Look to your community. Local organizations and businesses may have or know of opportunities in the area. Check out those bulletin boards that are hung in your favorite coffee shops and restaurants—they might have a job waiting for you.
  • Check out professional online resources. LinkedIn, Handshake, Glassdoor, and Indeed are great platforms to find internships and form connections with other professionals in various fields. These sites are helpful in college, too!

Great internships for high school students

There are internships for so many interests and career fields. Check out these ones below and see if there’s anything you’re interested in.

  • NASA High School Internships: This experience allows high school students to help contribute to NASA’s space exploration and discovery efforts while gaining work experience alongside experts.
  • Bank of America Student Leaders Program: This program gives students the opportunity to see what working in the government or nonprofit sector is like. They’ll be working with nonprofit organizations and businesses, as well as developing leadership skills.
  • Microsoft Discovery Program: For students interested in a career in tech, the Microsoft Discovery Program gives students the chance to be mentored by Microsoft employees and explore careers in computer science and programming.
  • Met High School Internship: Are you a writer? Designer? All-around creative-minded person? You might want to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s internships for high school students.
  • Scripps Student Science and Medicine Research Internship: This internship is made for students with interests in statistics, health sciences, computer science, and research.
  • Library of Congress Internships: There are opportunities available for students who want to work with primary sources and enjoy researching and writing.
  • Stanford Compression Forum Summer Internship: For research enthusiasts, Stanford’s summer internship program, SHTEM, is for students who are passionate about a variety of fields including linguistics, design, technology, biology, and more.
  • Adler Planetarium Internships: Got an interest in anything STEAM? That’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics—and Adler has internships for that.
  • Princeton University’s Laboratory Learning Program: There are engineering research and natural sciences research internships for high school students at Princeton University.
  • Smithsonian Internship Programs: The Smithsonian has several internships for high school students looking for experience with exhibition design, the humanities, animal care, education, administration, and finance.

What you need to apply

You may not have much work experience yet, but it helps to have a resume put together to send in when you apply for an internship.

Your resume can include:

  • Any work experience you have (think babysitting, tutoring, or any part-time jobs you’ve held)
  • Volunteering or leadership experience
  • Classes you’re taking
  • Languages you speak
  • Certifications you carry

Some internships also require you to submit a cover letter. Cover letters explain why you’re interested in applying for the position. It’s also a chance to show some personality that a resume doesn’t always share.

If you’re looking to intern in the creative space, a portfolio may be helpful for you to have on hand. If you have any examples of your work, whether it’s something you’ve created in school or in your spare time, it’s worth compiling into a digital or physical album to showcase your body of work.

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It’s never too early

High school may feel a bit early to start looking into internships, but it’s never too soon! On the plus side, there are a few perks to starting now:

  • You may get a better idea as to what you want to study in college
  • You may form professional connections early
  • You may develop good time management skills
  • You may hone important career skills

Part-time jobs will always be an option, but think about how an internship could be the right move for you.

footnote Sallie Mae does not provide, and these materials are not meant to convey, financial, tax, or legal advice. Consult your own financial advisor, tax advisor, or attorney about your specific circumstances.

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