The short answer is yes! I highly recommend interning in high school, but before you go hunting for internship opportunities in your area, there are some pros and cons to consider.
- Insight into different career options
- Networking opportunities
- Hands on experience in a professional setting
- Strengthen college applications
- Build your resume
- Time consuming
- Many internships require 8-15 hours of work a week, so if you are strapped with extra-curriculars you may not have the time.
- You’re the “bottom of the food chain”
- Can be very competitive
“On the second day as a youth intern at Eden Medical Center, I sleepily entered the hospital in the late afternoon for my shift. As I sat behind the nurses station, waiting for the nurse I was to shadow that day, I watched a scene unfold that seemed to be out of a soap opera. I was jolted up to the hysterical screams of a family member of a patient in the room in front of me. My senses were overwhelmed with flashing blue lights, doctors yelling over frantic screams of family members, and the blaring ‘Alert: Code Blue in Room X’ alarm on repeat. I sat helplessly behind a desk as everyone around me worked to save the dying patient in front of me. As the staff left the room, I made eye contact with a doctor as he strode away.
‘That family member was a bit loud’ he teased.
I sat quietly, speechless as to what I just witnessed.”
This anecdote is an excerpt from one of my personal statements that I used for my college applications. I have been able to use the experiences from my internships in many ways, such as demonstrating who I am in my personal statements.
I started my first internship at APILO (Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach) the summer before my junior year and my second internship at Eden Medical Center during the summer before my senior year. My internship at APILO is yearlong, while my internship at the hospital is only during the summer. I could write a novel about how both these internships have changed my life in ways I could never imagine, but I’ll keep it short and sweet for you guys!
Both internships have provided me with invaluable experience and memories that I wouldn’t give up for the world. While high school has given me a traditional education, the skills you learn while interning is something that is hard to find in a high school setting. These internships have given me a real world view on what it’s like to hold a professional job.
Interning provides you with experience that is difficult to gain in any other settings. Interning in high school can give you an upper hand in college admissions as well as life skills. I highly recommend interning if you have the opportunity!