10 reasons a high school internship is important for any student

February 28, 2022

Not just any summer job will do! 

That is, not any job will do if you want to save yourself valuable time and money after graduation. 

Junior year of high school gets so busy that you don’t think about summer jobs until May, and then it’s “oh no, it’s almost summer – I hope there are some jobs left!” You’ve got a lot going on, but dedicating some time to your summer employment will pay off big time. 

We hold no grudge against serving ice cream to earn a few bucks. But no matter what type of career is on your horizon, finding an internship or part-time job related to your interests will dramatically increase your hire-ability. 

10 reasons a high school internship is important for any student

From architect to arborist to auditor, the high school years are the time to explore career options. For you, there’s only upside!

1. Discover what you like

You’d be amazed how many adults go through life unhappy at work. A big reason is that all through school we’re trained to work for incentives like the honor roll or perfect attendance, rather than pursuing what’s personally fulfilling. Working in a field you’re considering will help you discover (or confirm) what you enjoy. 

2. Confirm you don’t like

The reverse is also true. Imagine being enamored with beautiful building design, leading you to a career in building architecture. After a couple of years in college you realize it’s almost all construction calculations and project management, topics you don’t like at all. Years of wasted time and tuition. 

3. Interact with adults in the workplace

Call it networking, call it making connections, or call it getting to know people. Interacting with adults in a work environment might sound like the most boring weekday imaginable, but the payoff will eventually become clear. When it comes to a typical day at work (remote or in-person), other high schoolers are just as clueless as you. You’ll gain so much insight just by being part of a group of professionals. Ask lots of questions! Companies that hire interns want you to learn from them. 

4. Learn basic business skills

So many business basics can’t be learned adequately from YouTube tutorials or blogs. Entrepreneurs often find this out the hard way. They’ll launch a business based on a hunch, and then operate in panic mode as they learn about loan applications, revenue channels, and hiring practices. You’ll start picking up on all sorts of business strategies and tactics based on real-world success. 

5. Improve your soft skills

Soft skills are what every employer wants to know about before hiring a full-time employee. You’re in a terrific position, because the hiring manager doesn’t expect you to have the same type of communication or time management skills that older employees have. You’ll get to improve your skills and pick up some new ones. 

6. Experience what Google can’t tell you

Search engines are magnificent, but there’s no comparison to actual on-the-job experience. There’s so much potential to what you can learn. Treat your summer coworkers as living, breathing Googles. Ask what led them to this field of work, what they love about the work, what they can’t stand, etc. Keep asking questions. 10-minute conversations with a full-time employee are so much more valuable than hours scrolling through online search results. 

7. Collect professional references

Be prompt, be respectful, and be dependable. Do those three things during a summer internship, and you’ll have no trouble collecting professional references from your employer. Don’t stop with your direct boss. Ask anyone who spent time training or working with you to write a few sentences about your work ethic and soft skills. Then add these recommendations to your portfolio. 

8. Build your portfolio (and yes, a resume)

90% of hiring managers think resumes are a waste of time, but they keep asking job candidates to submit one. Go the extra mile by submitting a portfolio that includes your resume! Your spikeview portfolio is everything they want and more. Hiring managers want evidence that you’re interested in the work their company does, that you’ll show up, and that you’re responsible. It’s all in your spikeview, putting you in a class above the rest! 

9. Strengthen your college application

If you decide to pursue a college degree, internships that relate to your field of study are far stronger than “organized shoes at bowling alley.” Colleges want to know that their program is a good fit for you because your long-term success will reflect positively on the school. While we’re on the topic, here’s a post about applying to colleges that fit you best.

10. Strengthen your job application

You’d be shocked how many college grads enter the workforce without any relevant experience. Wouldn’t it be great for you to have years of experience compared to other applicants’ zero experience? Even if your summer job is an unpaid internship at the hospital, when you eventually apply for full-time healthcare positions, they’ll put a lot of weight on the fact that you’re already demonstrating interest in the industry. Your job application will stand out from the rest. 

Are you looking for a marketing internship this summer?

If so, email team@spikeview.com. We’re always looking for motivated high school students to spend some time in an exciting startup environment.