I’m super excited and proud to announce that I have finally, after weeks of researching and going down internet rabbit holes, landed my first internship as a high schooler! My role is a social media marketing intern at Urban Hydration, a skincare company focusing on all-natural skin and hair care.
Now, after going through this process, I know that getting an internship as a high schooler is not easy for various reasons… you may not know what exactly you want to do, there are barely any opportunities for high schoolers, etc. Because of this, I wanted to share a couple things that I feel helped me the most in getting this internship to hopefully help those who are stuck and don’t know where to go.
- Commit, Commit, Commit!!
- Getting an internship requires tons of persistence for multiple reasons. Committing to it and knowing that you REALLY WANT to get this internship is super important. Once you are 110% committed, the rest of it becomes easier because you know what you want and why.
- Try and narrow down your interests but keep an open mind
- I knew what kind of an internship and what role I wanted so this was easy for me but just taking an hour or so to just research fields/topics of interest and narrowing down what you may want to do will make your search for an internship more specific. Be open to new fields but have a general idea of what you want. Keep in mind that this is not set in stone. What you do for this internship does not, in any shape or form, have to be or decide your career path. You are doing an internship to learn and grow as an individual and to just dip your toes in the water, nothing more. So don’t worry if you don’t know what you exactly want, use the internship as exposure to new and interesting career fields that you simply just want to learn more about with hands-on experience.
- Don’t be scared to send as many emails/fill out as many applications as needed
- When I started looking for applications online, I literally found nothing. All the internships I found were for college students and there were barely any for high school students. Those that were for high schoolers weren’t in the field I was looking for. So instead, I would just google “small businesses near me” and send emails to various companies asking if they would like to hire me (it works because I got a few responses). Many companies don’t even know that there are high schoolers out there that are interested in an internship and the only way they will know is if you tell them! Don’t be afraid to send tons of emails, you never know what their response will be.
- Make the best use of platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed
- Although most internships on these platforms are listed as primarily for college students, it doesn’t hurt to just apply! Like mentioned before, companies that don’t know you are interested may be surprised and want to hire you. You never know! Also, through platforms like this and reading the roles and responsibilities of the role, you will understand what you like and don’t like. This will make your search much easier.
- Talk to friends/peers/mentors/parents/teachers about opportunities or ideas
- If you are taking a class pertaining to the field you want to find an internship in, talk to your teacher for that class and they may know of places that offer internships. Talk to peers and friends who were able to find internships and ask them how they did it. Talk to your parents if they know of any openings in companies or how to search for internships. They searched for many jobs so they know the process! People love talking about themselves and their experiences so get them to talk about something that may benefit you! 🙂
- Present yourself professionally (emails/calls, proper resume, professional dress for interviews or initial team meetings)
- You never get a second first impression. You want to make yourself seem as professional as possible when you make that first phone call, email, or show up for the interview. Use professional language in emails instead of text/informal slang, dress professionally for interviews or first meet and greets, etc.
- Don’t give up!!
- The process of finding an internship as a high schooler is challenging and it takes persistence. I spent a few hours every day for a few days just going down internet rabbit holes to find a role that I liked. One website led to another, which led to another, and another. At the end of it, I don’t even know how I got to the website I was at and that was where I found the internship that I have now.
Good luck to any and all of you looking for internships and jobs!