The Benefits of Getting a Summer Internship


The Benefits of Getting a Summer Internship

When you’re knee deep in formulas for your upcoming trig exam or finishing your final paper for AP English, the last thing you probably want to think about is working for free during the precious summer months. Summer is a time for going to barbecues, swimming in the pool, and hanging out with your friends, right?

Before you emotionally commit to a summer full of fun, sun, and watching Avengers: Endgame 20 times in the theater, consider the benefits of applying for a high school internship this summer.

Benefits of Summer Internships

  • Summer internships allow you to explore your interests and see firsthand how certain industries operate so you can get a better idea of what you might like to pursue as a career. Don’t work your way through four years of college majoring in business without spending some time in an office to see if you enjoy it.
  • Some summer internships pay! While many internships are unpaid, you can find summer internships in many fields that come with decent compensation.
  • Interning can help you develop important skills that will enhance your resume, such as learning how to create a business post for Facebook, use an Excel spreadsheet, or get comfortable with scheduling software. Plus, you’ll learn interpersonal skills as well, such as how to ask a boss for help, how to interact with coworkers in a professional manner, and how to hit deadlines — all of which are invaluable in any future job.
  • Summer internships enable you to start networking with professionals who can write a college recommendation letter or connect you with job opportunities in the future.
  • Summer internships are proven to give you an advantage when applying for jobs or applying to colleges. A 2014 study found that 90% of companies believe high school internships help you get into better colleges, and 83% of companies said that internships would lead to higher-paying jobs.

Finding a Summer Internship

Finding a summer internship may take some time, so now is the time to start looking. But how do you begin?

A good place to start is to ask your school guidance counselor if any local organizations or businesses partner with your school for high school intern programs.

Next, make a list of some people you know who work in fields you are interested in and reach out to them. While many companies don’t accept interns who are still in high school, some may be open to it, especially if the company is small or if you know someone there. You won’t know unless you ask!

Lastly, nonprofit organizations are usually much more open than corporations to having high school interns, so make sure to reach out to some nonprofits as well. You may be able to help out with higher level tasks than you would at a for-profit company, such as marketing, data entry, graphic design, event planning and more.

Local Internships in Chicago

Not sure where to start looking? Here are a few local organizations with some great openings you can check out. But apply quickly — summer is almost here!

  • One Summer Chicago — One Summer Chicago is run by the City of Chicago and helps young people find summer jobs and internships in the city. There are more than 32,000 positions available at national organizations such as Bank of America, Walgreens, and McDonalds, as well as local organizations such as the Brighton Park Animal Hospital, John H. Stroger Hospital, the DuSable Museum and more. The application deadline is May 20.
  • This Way Ahead — The Gap Co. runs this program that matches young people ages 16 to 24 with 10-week paid positions at The Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. You’ll get valuable experience in retail and customer service.
  • Target –Stores Executive Internship: During this 10-week program, high schoolers interested in leadership or retail management positions will learn how all of the different departments function at Target. You will be able to shadow branch leaders and explore different career options.
  • Swedish American Museum: Volunteer at this cultural museum in Andersonville to earn community service credit and gain hands-on work experience in the museum field! You can work with children on field trips, run one of the exhibits, or learn about retail at the Kerstin Andersson Museum Store.
  • The Bridge Teen Center: This innovative non-profit community center relies on over 400 volunteers each year, providing plenty of opportunities for students to volunteer in positions they are passionate about. Volunteer as a tutor, Thrift Store volunteer, sound tech for concerts, and more. The deadline for summer internships is May 3.
  • Chicago Zoological Society – King Conservation Science Scholars Program: Learn about animals and conservation and make a difference while gaining leadership skills and preparing for college. Science scholars participate in workshops, community action projects, and research opportunities.


Find more volunteer opportunities for the summer and beyond at TeensLife. What are you waiting for? Start your search for a summer internship today!