In a recent study by Internships.com and the consulting firm, Millennial Branding, 89 percent of companies surveyed said high school students with internship experience have a competitive advantage when applying for college-level internships and full-time jobs. An internship at a young age has a huge impact on future successes and can pave the way to your career.
While internships allow students the opportunity to gain meaningful skills they will apply both in college and future jobs, Southern Utah University’s Brandon Street, director of the Career and Development Center, believes the greatest benefit of an internship is experience.
“Students often dream of a particular career and cement that dream, or realize they no longer want to pursue that career through experience,” said Street. “I encourage all students to participate in an internship early and often. Gain the valuable skills that accompany an internship while experiencing the realities of a job. This will make your investment in college more worthwhile.”
Considering becoming an intern? Review these six benefits of getting an internship while in high school.
Network with professionals. Start building your own network of people who can help you gain access to future opportunities. Big name references can go a long way in helping you secure college admission and job opportunities down the road.
Gain hands-on skills. No matter the internship, you’ll gain insight into a career field, and skills that often transfer to other disciplines. Internships are like practice jobs providing experience with professional skills like interviewing, teamwork and accountability.
Opportunities to advance. Internships often lead to job offers. Whether or not you receive an immediate offer, you will undoubtedly gain valuable experience and resume-building material. Take advantage of every opportunity realizing you are gaining an advantage that will help you land a meaningful job in the future.
Stand out. Having an internship on your resume will put you one step ahead of others your age. Your ambition will demonstrate drive and hard work.
Define your career goals. Learning what you love to do is a major part of growing up, and an internship can help you identify your interests and refine your goals. You may find that you dislike working in a certain field, or you may discover a passion for something you would have otherwise have overlooked.
Gain self-confidence. Confidence is key when applying for a professional job. One way to build confidence is to complete an internship that provides opportunities for you to demonstrate your skills and ambition.
Typically, internships are geared toward college students, so plan to put in extra effort and work to show your best as you go about seeking opportunities. You’ll need to prepare a well-written cover letter and resume that expresses your areas of interest and the types of experiences you are looking for. Remember, an internship is an investment and the time to get started is now. You will likely complete more than one internship before your graduate college. In college, you will have access to resources specifically designed to help you find internships that match your career interests. Check out these internship options at Southern Utah University.