In the present century where it seems like a hurdle to imprint your name in the eyes of the world, someone rightly told us to take small steps to make it big. Steve Jobs, the tech genius, commenced acquiring his software development skills in high school, while interning for Hewlett-Packard.
The idea that an internship is only meant for college students is a misconception. Internships encourage school students to embark on a journey of learning that creates steps for them to reach the top.
School life generally envelops students in a protective environment and as a result of this, they lack exposure to the outside world and professional life. But who’s to say that professional skill-building cannot begin right from school itself?
An internship can act as the perfect platform for you to build skills, choose the right career, get a taste of professional life, and witness all that the world has to offer. Here are the different ways you can benefit by interning as a school student:
1. Network with Professionals in the Field
As a school student, you are only exposed to your immediate environment that consists of your family, friends and teachers. However, an internship will allow you to connect with professionals in the field, thereby helping you create a web of learned individuals who can give you clarity on your career. Such learned people are aware of the working of the industry and can provide you with valuable information and mantras that even Google cannot offer based on their years spent in the field.
For instance, a Clinical Psychologist can impart her knowledge about her profession to you, telling you about the kind of problems clients come with on a daily basis, the emotional baggage that comes with the job and how to handle situations confronted on the professional front.
2. Get Professional Feedback
Feedback can often change your life by making you confront the aspects you could have never thought of or the faults you never realized you had. It can be an enlightening suggestion coming from a professional in the field and can define your road to success. People who have worked their way through the industry are aware of the nitty-gritty’s of its functioning and hence can tell you how to do things in a better manner and correct you when you are going in the wrong direction
For example, a writer can give you feedback on your writing by suggesting you which mood, tense, tone and vocabulary will engage readers the most and how can you work upon it.
3. Enhance your Skills
As a school student, your skills are still very amateurish due to lack of experience and unavailability of professional guidance, hence, internships provide you with an opportunity to hone your skills and develop an all-round personality. Experiential learning that takes place during an internship aids you in working upon your personality, communication skills, organization skills, writing skills, and career-specific skills, laying down the foundations of your career. For example, if you have a flair for art and designing, interning with a graphic design firm would help you polish your design skills and learn new skills that you didn’t have previously. Hence, internships add a tinge of perfection to your working style.
4. Explore a career path and decide upon subjects for college
In school, students are mostly uncertain of their career that lies ahead in the hazy future. Taking up internships as a school student will allow you to explore different career paths that interest you. By experiencing in real life what the career has to offer, you will be able to make an informed decision about your future. In case you are confused about the right course and subjects to take up for your desired career path, talking to professionals at your internship will surely help impart clarity. For instance, an aspiring engineer by interning with an engineering firm can get an idea of what the job feels like and which course of engineering to apply for in college.
5. Strengthen Your Resume
Your resume speaks volumes about your achievements, personality, and worthiness of being accepted for admission to a college or a job. Having a professional workspace experience at an early age will provide you with an edge during the admission process and will add to your college applications. It will also showcase to the admissions committee that you took the initiative to gain course and field-specific skills early on and will increase your likelihood of getting into your desired university. Inthe future, these internships will also aid you in getting a job by proving your proficiency to your potential employer.
6. Find Role Models and Mentors
Role models are people who set the fire of enthusiasm ablaze in you and mentors are people who guide you through different steps of your professional life. Finding such inspirational people early in life will give you the required motivation to push yourself harder and climb the stairs of success. Seldom in your immediate environment, you encounter such people. Hence, internships expose you to a wider section of the society and increase your probability of finding people who can inspire you.
7. Gain Confidence
The present century is open to only those people who are prepared to face the world and accept its challenges. Such people should be confident enough to confront their flaws and accept the opportunities. This confidence is tested during interviews, in a crisis situation, and in daily hands-on situations. Hence, you need to commence building confidence while in school and an internship can be a good confidence-building platform. Gaining such experience will boost your confidence since you’ll be exposed to a new world altogether and will get to test your skills in the real world.
How to Find an Internship?
Now, if you’re wondering how you can land an internship opportunity suited for you, here are a few ways you can find one:
- Look for internships on internship portals like Internshala, Interntheory, Letsintern etc.
- Approach your school for summer internships they can help you get in
- Sign up with local non-profit organizations as an intern
- Inquire with your personal connections if they can offer you an internship
- Look for organizations in your field of choice through LinkedIn and job portals, and approach them for an internship opportunity
Tiptoeing through school life, you may have built walls of comfort and unless removed they can hamper your growth as an individual. Interning can help you emerge from them and give you a head start on your career.
So take the first step in laying the foundations of your career and enrol for a high school internship!
At Mindler, we are always looking for diligent, talented, creative (and of course, awesome) student interns to help us spread our cause of career guidance far and wide. Think you have it in you? Send in your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.