The key to striking gold with any internship in high school is very similar to how one would try and get a job in the real world. In addition to all of the usual resources, utilize all of your available resources to look for an internship opportunity.
Let’s talk about what that might look like for you.
I found out about the San Diego Supercomputer Center opportunity by talking to my college career counselor at school in late January of my junior year. She told me about the Supercomputer Center but told me application wouldn’t open up until late February and applications weren’t even due till late April. This was fine to me though, which leads me to this point: It’s always better to be ahead of the application process, as it gives a potential applicant time to complete the application around his / her school schedule and any other extracurriculars. In addition, it gives the applicant a little more time to boost his / her resume to stand out more in the applicant pool.
These were the requirements for my internship application:
- One 1000 word essay citing why I thought I was a good fit for the role. Looking back, I realized that my summer internship essay was very similar to the college essays I’d write several months later. As with college apps, this application required one to try and advertise him or herself to the supervisors.
- A cover letter and resume outlining the specific qualifications I had for the intern position
- Two letters of recommendation: one from a teacher and one from my volunteer work at Feeding America
After a few weeks with no word, I was sent an email notified that I was invited to an in-person interview with my future supervisor.
This is the most important part of the application process, the interview. Not only is this the first non-written exposure my supervisor would get of me, but it would also be my first time actually looking at potential projects. The interview lets one look at what he or she will be working on first hand and lets him or her decide for yourself if the internship was what you hoped it would be. In the same way that the Supercomputer Center was deciding whether I’d be a good fit, I had to decide whether I was going to get something out of this internship.
Remember that in the end, an internship is something that is supposed to enrich one’s education and potential career decision. This is what makes the interview so important because you and the other party can finally decide if you will be compatible with each other. That said, planning ahead of time and being vigilant will present the most opportunities, as is what happened with me and the Supercomputer Center. Moral of the story: It’s never too early to start looking.
Looking for an extra boost with your internship search network? Empowerly has a unique start-up internship matching program that we can tell you all about in a consultation. Chat with one of our team members to discuss how we can help you find the perfect opportunity!