High school students are usually focused on sports, studying, and spending time with friends. They often do not think of obtaining summer work experience within their desired career field. This is a mistake, because summer internships can give a high school student an advantage later in life.
The benefits of summer internships are many and this structured opportunity to explore different careers can be priceless. Students can intern in areas that correspond with their academic and personal interests. They will learn how to communicate on a professional level, something that they are not exposed to in most high school environments. They will also learn how to work on a team, while at the same time having individual responsibilities. This builds interpersonal skills and a sense of accountability, two things necessary to succeed in life.
During the experience, the student will sometimes network and build contacts within the industry. They may also engage in a mentor relationship with a senior level employee. This allows them to learn from someone who is successful in the business, so they can see what it takes to achieve this status. Some of the lessons learned during this type of work experience are intangible, but they are no less important.
Internship work experience provides a high school student with the opportunity to gain skills relevant to the job and industry within which he or she wants to work in later years. Finding summer internships is not difficult, requiring only that students make inquiries in the high school guidance office, local government facilities, and companies within the area. Many employers would love the chance to show an intelligent young person the ropes within their operations.
Not all of the positions will be paid summer internships, but these do exist. Some larger companies and government agencies will pay minimum wage or a bit more to high schoolers who work for them over the summer. Unpaid opportunities are often more common, especially at the high school level. Though some of these jobs entail administrative work, they also provide the student with an opportunity to view a typical day in the workplace.
Starting summer internships while in high school will provide the student with an opportunity to explore several different career options. After doing this for a few summers, the student may discover a dream career. The work experience will look good on the students resume and the additional interpersonal and teamwork skills can help in other aspects of the student's life, including school.