How To Land the Best High School Summer Internship

May 9th, 2014 | College Preparation, Education Blog, High school, Newsletter

Last month, we recommended summer internships as an excellent option for your student to make the most of his or her summer (Here’s some more reporting on the topic, if you are interested). Today, we would like to articulate some of the best ways for students to find a valuable and fitting high school summer internship, and to gain the most education and experience possible.

Find a Valuable Internship

Research is key to finding internships that will meet student interests and provide adequate learning and hands-on opportunities. Start by asking your student to consider his or her goals with an internship, with some of the following questions:

  • Do you have a specific career or profession in mind, which you’d like to learn?
  • Are there certain skills or lifestyles that you are curious about?
  • What do you like to do for fun, and that can be accomplished in a modern-day job?
  • Are you looking more for education and learning from your internship, or hands-on experience with a job or industry?

After you and your child have a general idea about what you hope to get from your internship, begin researching the possibilities using tools like,, or Idealist. Meet together with your child’s high school counselor to gain additional insight, and consider people in your network whose careers may align with your student’s interests. Click here for some other ways to approach finding an internship.

Gain Maximum Benefit

A good college internship should provide your son or daughter with valuable work experience and training, a real-life perspective on how the workplace functions, and hopefully a boost in the college admissions process. During the course of an internship, ask your son or daughter to make the following items a priority:

  • Take advantage of opportunities to explore various jobs within the business in order to get the most from your experience. If you can, try to ‘shadow’ as many different positions within the company as possible, to learn the full scope of everyone’s job.
  • Consider this a chance to learn everything there is to know about a job that might be turn into a career someday. Remind your child not to sit on the sidelines; if the internship supervisor and other management is open to it, encourage your child to offer his or her own creative solutions and ideas on how to make the job better – respectfully, of course!
  • Ask lots of questions. No matter what type of internship or business your child works for this summer, asking lots of questions and taking note of the answers is going to be vital to the experience and education the internship provides.

If your student works hard this summer in a high school internship, he or she will certainly learn a lot – not just about a particular  business or industry, but also about the adult world and how things work within the workplace.

Featured photo from, labeled for reuse.