High School Summer Internships

High school Summer Internships

Internships are akin to the apprenticeship of years gone by. Under an apprenticeship, an artisan (skilled laborer) teaches another person, usually a younger person, his or her particular trade. In exchange for the mentoring, the trainee agrees to work for the teacher for a specified length of time.

The biggest difference between an apprenticeship and an internship is that an internship leans more toward to exploring. The apprentice knows what profession they want, the intern is not totally convinced just yet. The intern is not bound to work for the “teacher” (employer) after the internship is completed, although many college interns do receive job offers.

Internships can be paid or unpaid — though, if they are unpaid, they are usually subject to stringent labor guidelines. In theU.S., federal law mandates that unpaid interns must not benefit the company economically or be used to displace the work done by paid employees. Some states have their own regulations regarding interns. For example, inCalifornia, unpaid interns must receive college credit for their work. Most high school internships are unpaid. Most high school internships are free to become involved in, however, there are a few that charge. Do your homework.

High School Summer Internship: The Investment

High school students have many options available to them in regards to wisely investing in their future. Summer is the perfect time to examine possible career paths. A high school summer internship program is one means of investment.

Committing to a summer internship program will help successfully move the high school student toward meaningful employment and possibly greater acceptance at colleges. Internships are designed to provide much needed and valuable on-the-job experience to the high schooler who is just beginning to explore career options.

Many times a high school student does not fully know what they want to do “when they grow up”. They might have several different ideas in mind. The high school summer internship program helps the student solidify job choices. Over the course of several summers, the student begins to realize which job ideas are not what they once thought. On the other hand, they also discover which jobs are something they can see themselves doing in the future.

High School Summer Internship: The Benefits

High school summer internship programs offer the student many benefits. Simply applying for internships is a huge benefit. The student becomes familiar with how to go about applying for “real” jobs. They learn how to ask for and fill out the proper forms. Communication skills are sharpened through the interview process. Participating in a high school summer internship program gives the student the confidence and necessary skills to understand the world of the “job search”. It gives them a huge advantage over job candidates who have never participated in this type of process.

Completing a high school summer internship program allows the student to explore a wide variety of career options including fashion design, journalism, accounting, nursing, engineering, technology fields, marketing, and more. It will thrust the student into the world of networking, which is of utmost importance these days. If the student starts early enough to do a few internships throughout high school and college, they can use the first ones to get a feel for what career they would like to pursue and the later ones to build experience.

The high school homeschool student certainly should add the summer internship programs to their high school transcript. It should also be included in their college resume. That impressive entry can potentially help the high school student land their first big job after graduation.

More added benefits of a high school summer internship program include:

  • Helps you learn valuable decision-making lessons.
  • Helps build discipline and commitment.
  • Helps you fulfill some of your high school course requirements needed for your transcript.
  • Teaches you how to respect authority, even if you disagree with them.
  • Helps you learn to be a team player.
  • Shows you how to interact with others in a professional work atmosphere.
  • Shows future interviewers that you care about your job options, that you are motivated to grow in your potential career field, and that you have learned important skills that make you a very valuable employee.
  • If you are going to apply to colleges, your internship experience can build a case for you as a strong applicant because many students apply to college without any internship programs under their belt. It puts you in the forefront. The admissions committee will see you are motivated, inquisitive, and serious about success.

Begin your high school summer internship search by making a Google Doc spreadsheet. List possible internships, locations, contact info, special requirements, type of internship, date contacted, date a response was received… Being organized will be most beneficial as you add completed internships to your high school transcript and college resume.

As a high school student, you must prepare today for your tomorrow; summer internships are an excellent way!


Jackie, a former public and private school teacher, enjoys homeschooling her 16 year old daughter via Time4Learning's new high school courses and other supplementals. Jackie keeps busy writing study guides, educational articles, and literature units for various online education companies as well as acting as an online marketing consultant. She is a contributing author at 3 D Learners.

December 29, 2012


  1. Brinda says:
    Posted January 6, 2013 2:09 pm

    Vicki - we're interested in exploring internship opportunities for out high school student. Can you send us a link or information about the opportunities you mention in your post?

  2. Vicki says:
    Posted January 2, 2013 2:43 am

    Internships and apprenticeships are an important part of career exploration and personal growth for teens and homeschoolers generally have the flexibility to make them happen. We have lots of opportunities at libraries, state parks, farms, churches, and ministries in this area.

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