Last Updated: February 14, 2021
Internships for US High School Students
At the high school, stage students begin to think of their future lives as professionals, entrepreneurs etc. They are high on dreams but have comparatively little idea of how to realize them. They begin to make the preliminary search for job opportunities in their chosen fields of academics. When they come across such conditions for hiring as “only experienced applicants will be considered” it is natural for them to feel a bit discouraged. But an excellent solution is at hand. Internship! It is one of the most rewarding ways of getting professional experience that will increase the value of their resume when they apply for jobs later on.
What is internship?
The internship is a well-planned experience that helps students/interns to hone their skills in a professional environment. They get hands-on training under the supervision of an experienced professional in their chosen field, which has a positive impact on their academic development. Generally, interns are paid a stipend but it may now always be the case. The internship may last from one to multiple academic terms.
Internships are available for a wide spectrum of careers in Journalism, Humanities, Engineering, and Sciences, etc.
High school students are at that stage where their energy levels are high and they feel the need to explore the world. This is the right time to channel these energies towards self-development. The internship will give them a fair idea of their chosen career. By working with the professional and getting an inside view of the real thing it would be easier for them to (a) decide whether the career suits them and (b) if yes, then what changes they would need to bring about in their approach to academics and work-ethics to excel in the field.
As interns, they will become acquainted with the latest techniques and technologies in use. They will be able to learn new skills in their profession. Most importantly, they will be able to have first-hand knowledge of professional-level teamwork.
Knowing the seniors in one’s profession is always an asset. When one graduates and joins a job, such networks always help in career-enhancement. In fact, it is not unusual for good interns to be offered jobs in the company itself!
What are the fields in which internships are available for High School students in the US?
As mentioned above, there is a vast range of fields in which internships are offered. Some are mentioned here:
Internship in journalism provides the all-important practical knowledge of creating and editing content. The interns learn a lot about the essentials of interviewing, writing social media posts, fact-checking and sourcing photos. Again, journalism has various specialized sub-streams like sports, politics, fashion, cinema etc. They can choose between print and electronic media. The New York Times, for instance, has launched Summer Academy Online which “gives intellectually curious high school students the opportunity to pursue their passions and study with experts in the fields of journalism, media, politics, technology, arts, culture, sports, business, fashion and more.”
Essentially, Humanities cover those disciplines that study human culture and experience. It includes ancient and modern languages, history, religion, philosophy, literature, fine arts, music, performing arts, archaeology, psychology etc. The Stanford Summer Humanities Institute, which conducts a "residential enrichment program" for grade 11 and 12 students, states, “Through the study of history, philosophy, the arts, religion, and more, preeminent and emerging scholars come together to look back and press forward. This is what humanities study is. And undertaking this essential work is how we discover who we have been and imagine the possibilities of who we might become.” The Arizona State University offers internships in Research, Writing, Homeless Outreach etc. This helps them to have professional development experience, gain voluntary hours, publish their writings, apart from winning ‘Project Humanities Certificate of Appreciation.’
Science internships cover many disciplines. Some of these are Astronomy & Physics (NASA High School Internships, John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab ASPIRE High School Mentoring Program); Biomedical Science (Alzheimer’s Association, American Cancer Society); Engineering (Marine Advanced Technology Education Internships, NASA Student Opportunities); and Biology & Environment Sciences (American Fisheries Society Student Opportunities and Internships, Marine Advanced Technology Education Internships).
What are the important institutions that offer internships?
The following are some of the important institutes offering internships to High School students in the US:
1. Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI)
Google offers internship positions in numerous fields, viz., business, engineering, and technology. The CSSI has a summer program at Google open to high school seniors entering a four-year undergraduate program. This program is meant for those who want to major in computer science, computer engineering or software engineering.
2. Microsoft High School Internship
This internship is for those who have a special fascination for STEM or science, technology, engineering, and math. It will help them in their quest for a university degree in a STEM-related field - academic or professional. Interns gain on-the-job experience in completing STEM projects.
3. Kaisar Permanente LAUNCH Program
In case a high school student wants to do an internship in health-related disciplines, Kaisar Permanente offers an eight-week program. This enables the interns to have practical experience even as they earn a stipend.
4. Johns Hopkins CARES Summer Program
Johns Hopkins offers a variety of summer internships for underrepresented high school students, which enable them to pursue careers in science, public health, and medicine.
5. CIA Summer Internship
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offers internships to high school seniors. The interns learn about the world of intelligence while participating in work relating to their intended college major.
6. American Museum of Natural History Saltz Internship
Those students who are interested in mineralogy, paleontology and scientific study of animals or plants can avail of this internship. They get an opportunity to scientifically observe natural phenomena. In medicine, natural history enables the students to study people who are suffering from a disease or are at risk of developing a specific medical condition. They collect data about such people with the purpose of keeping track of the course of disease/medical condition. Interns get a chance of direct interaction with experts in the field and receive a $900 stipend for 100 hours of work.
7. Apollo Theater Academy Internship Program
Today, the entertainment industry has become both vast and sophisticated. Theatre and other performing arts are not about performance and artistes alone. Other functions like, finance, marketing, administration, material management etc. are equally important. And, each such function is looked after by professionals. This internship program helps the interns to get acquainted with the non-performing aspects of the entertainment industry.
8. Brooklyn Botanic Garden Apprentice Program
There are certain disciplines that are a happy amalgam of the traditional and the modern. Take urban agriculture, for instance. It involves cultivating, processing and distributing food around urban areas. The interns learn of such professions/disciplines as bee-keeping, aquaculture, animal husbandry and horticulture. Another interesting discipline is botany. Interns get a chance to get acquainted with the extensive collections of plants that are labeled with scientific names as well as of their places of origin. This is a nine-month paid internship, divided into tiers.
9. Brooklyn Museum Apprentice Program
The high school students who want to know how records of various museum items are maintained, and how these are organized and displayed, or how art galleries are managed can find this internship program useful. Even those aspiring for making a career out studying anthropology, art, decorative arts, natural history, social history, science or technology will find this internship useful. They learn to create their own lessons based on the museum’s collections. They also earn a stipend.
10. Futures and Options Internship Programs
Futures and options are the two most widely used hedging instruments in the world and serve different needs in the capital market. They are essential elements in every well-diversified portfolio. Even though futures and options are two different things, this distinction has been greatly blurred and made it all the more confusing for beginners. It is an intricate process. One has to get familiar with the basics of stock-trading in order to understand their working mechanism. Then there are other aspects which help one become a professional. Interns receive work-readiness training on skills like communicating clearly, giving effective presentations and getting familiar with workplace etiquette.
11. Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program Memorial Sloan Kettering
Pathogenesis deals with the origin and development of a disease. Pathogenesis includes microbial infection, inflammation, malignancy and tissue breakdown. It is a multi-disciplinary phenomenon. It also studies how certain types of cancer develop due to breakdown in the immune system of one's body. Oncology deals with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. The oncologist performs physical assessments to detect cancerous cells and prepares the course of treatment based on the nature of cancer. If necessary, surgical procedures on the affected areas are carried. This internship gives the interns the to do structured independent research under a mentor’s guidance.