Make money, pursue your interests & gain relevant, real-world experience.
How did you spend your summer last year? Some of you might have played a sport, some might have picked up more hours at your summer job at a local fast food restaurant and some might have taken a summer class. Did you consider getting an internship to gain experience in an industry you may be interested in after high school graduation?
Whether you go on to college or enter the workforce right after high school graduation, summer internships are a valuable way to gain real-world experience, learn your interests, build your network and become more marketable for future employment. Most people are aware of the importance of internships during college, but many don’t realize that they are eligible for internships in high school, too.
High school summer internships are pretty common in Wisconsin. You can find internships in almost any industry—sales, marketing, engineering, construction, health care, you name it. Most internships are paid, too. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for an intern in the Milwaukee area is $12.54 per hour. You can also apply for school credit for the hours you put in at your internship. Talk to your guidance counselor to see what sort of credit your school might give you. And, as if you needed another great reason to give an internship a try, seven out of 10 internships result in a full-time job offer.
“We hire engineering and manufacturing interns, giving high school students the chance to confirm that those fields of study are the right fit,” said Jessie Cain, talent acquisition and development manager for Husco International in Waukesha. “Husco believes that all students can act as contributing members to our organization by providing a diverse mindset to problems they approach. It also gives students the opportunity to start earning money in a field that they are interested in, while learning at the same time.”
So how can you get started finding an internship?
- First, determine your interests. What’s your favorite subject in school? Do you like talking with or helping people? Do you like solving complex problems? Do you like exercising your creative abilities?
- Next, explore your options. Talk to people you know who work in the industries you might be interested in. Or, try exploring WisConnect.com. WisConnect is a website through the Job Center of Wisconsin that allows you to easily search for internships by industry or area of interest.
- Make sure you’re doing your research with plenty of time to spare—it often takes a few months to identify internships you’re interested in and go through the interview process.
- Craft your resume.
So, what are your plans for next summer?