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High School

9 Summer Internships for High Schoolers

So you’re already thinking about colleges, maybe even submitting applications, getting recommendations, and dealing with all the other craziness high school throws at you! The question is, what are you going to do this coming summer? Stellar news: there are so many totally fantastic internships out there that can help you gain experience, knowledge, and a very nice résumé bump even while you’re still a pre-collegiette!

1. New York Historical Society

Location: New York, New York
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: May 17, 2013
Requirements: Must be a sophomore, junior, or senior in a tri-state area high school.
Application Materials: An application form and a recommendation form (both found here!) should be emailed to hs.internship@nyhistory.org.

Fun fact: the New York Historical Society is the oldest museum in New York! This beautiful institution doesn’t just possess a snazzy title; it is also “dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and [leading] public programs” that illustrate just how important history and culture were and are to society, according to its website.

Live in the tri-state area and want to feel like you’re contributing to an important piece of living history? Check out the New York Historical Society’s High School Internship program. The internship offers so many opportunities: diving into research, visiting other New York-area museums, helping facilitate discussion amongst visitors, talking to museum experts, and contributing to the Student Historian blog.

2. NASA Goddard

Location: Greenbelt, Maryland
Unpaid/Paid: Depends on program (the National Space Club Scholars Program has a stipend)
Deadline: March 15, 2013
Requirements: At least 16 years old; minimum 3.0 GPA (unweighted); knowledge of computer applications is essential (may vary from program to program)
Application Materials: Register with NASA’s OSSI internship database to fill out the application.

What kid didn’t want to be an astronaut during elementary school? Make your childhood dreams come true as a high school student and apply for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center High School Internship Program or the National Space Club Scholars Program this summer! You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the infinite number of applications the STEM fields have, not mention you’ll have a splendid time meeting other space- and STEM-minded students.

NASA also offers a slew of other high school summer internships all across the U.S. that you should definitely have a look at! One example? The Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio offers a paid eight-week internship where students partner with a mentor to learn about research, presentation skills, and possible STEM careers.

Overall, how do you know you’ll have a unique summer at NASA? Vault Internships put NASA on their list of Most Unusual Internship Experiences in 2011.

3. DoSomething

Location: New York, New York
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: April 19, 2013
Requirements: Ability to commute to the New York office; ability to work well alone and with others; passionate about youth changing the world.
Application Materials: Check out the high school internships available and fill out the information accordingly.

DoSomething, the country’s largest non-profit specifically geared towards youth-driven social change, is a great opportunity no matter what field you want to pursue. Another great summer internship find, the Do Something High School Internship combines a “super fun and positive work environment” (dosomething.org) with stellar non-profit creds. It’ll not only add to your résumé, but also help you think more about giving back to the rest of the community and the world. Another plus: the Do Something team loves a good bake-off (interns versus full-time staff, of course).

4. Brainscape

Location: Virtual
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: Rolling
Requirements: None.
Application Materials: Send your name, school, location, year, and a brief statement about why you want to be a Brainscape Student Intern to amoritz@brainscape.com.

The Brainscape’s website boasts that the company is an “adaptive web and mobile education platform designed to help you learn faster.” Through its virtual high school internship program (woohoo, working in your PJs!), you not only learn how to improve your own memory and learning techniques but also gain extremely valuable professional experience. Don’t be fooled by the idea of “virtual interning”; this internship gives you a whole range of opportunities: blogging, emailing with professionals and experts, working with social media, and networking.

5. Adler Planetarium

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Unpaid/Paid: Paid ($8.25/hr, 25 hrs/wk)
Deadline: April 5, 2013
Requirements: Must be able to put in 25 hours per week for 8 weeks during the summer.
Application Materials: Fill out the application here.

Live in the Chicago area and looking for a more unconventional STEM-related internship? The Adler Planetarium High School Internship Program may be right up your alley! This program combines professional skills (working with digital media, networking, and meeting with different groups) with every part of the museum from Show Design to Public Programs. Interns also come together to plan the Community Bash to showcase their work to friends, family, and the entire Chicago community. Oh yeah, and did I mention it’s PAID?


6. Google

Location: Mountain View, California or Cambridge, Massachusetts
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid, but Google pays for airfare, housing, and food
Deadline: April 7, 2013
Requirements: Must be a high school senior; must intend to enroll with a Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Software Engineering, or related department for the 2013-2014 academic year.
Application Materials: Click here to start the online application.

Are you a senior looking to enter college with sharpened computer science skills? Google runs the Computer Science Summer Institute a program that now only allows participants the opportunity to “immerse themselves in the daily life at Google”, but also meet other like-mind students from all over the world. Participants also get to meet and work with the industry’s top names. Even better? The entire institute is all-expense paid AND there are two different sessions to choose from--one on each coast (Mountain View, California and Cambridge, Massachusetts).

7. American Red Cross

Location: Austin, Texas
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: Rolling
Requirements: None.
Application Materials: Send in a Volunteer Application, résumé, and cover letter to Denise Blok at denise.blok@redcross.org (also, make sure to indicate of which region you would like to be based out of).

The American Red Cross is a recognized organization that is well known for disaster relief services and humanitarian efforts and it’s wide-ranging network of volunteers. The American Red Cross’ Central Texas Region provides internships to high school students offers students a chance to get involved in this same line of work! The program provides opportunities to work in fields like Emergency Services, Outreach, and Youth Services (and many more!). Combining this mission with the professional skills you could learn from one of these internships will make for a rewarding, empowering summer!

8. 102.7 KIISFM

Location: Los Angeles, California
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: Rolling
Requirements: Open to high school students over 16; must be able to work 20-25 hours per week.
Application Materials: Send in a résumé and cover letter to the appropriate email link (which can be found here).

Radio internships can be found all over the U.S., from Seattle to New York! These programs are a great way to break into the music business or the broadcast journalism world. Another pro? Many of these internships boast a tight-knit team and gaining loads of hands-on experience! One of these awesome internships? The internship program at the radio station KIISFM. Who doesn’t want to work for a place that produces daily celebrity interviews with Ryan Seacrest and other DJs who tear up the airwaves nationwide?

9. Her Campus

Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Unpaid/Paid: Unpaid
Deadline: Rolling
Requirements: None.
Application Materials: Fill out the application here.

Are you dreaming of a career in editorial, sales and marketing, management, graphic design, or web production? Want to learn skills that could help you both in your academic life and your future profession? What better place to snag an internship than with Her Campus? Explore your future career with the help of the Her Campus team! Email intern@hercampus.com with questions.

Lily is a member of Wesleyan University's class of 2016, where she double majored in government and sociology. She's a writer, editor, and social media manager, as well as co-founder of The Prospect (www.theprospect.net), the world’s largest student-run college access organization. In addition to her work with Her Campus, she also serves in editorial roles at HelloFlo and The Muse.
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