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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

9 Startup Internships for High School Students

Updated: Apr 23

Why do internships in high school?


Before we jump into a long list of startup internships for high school students, it is important to understand why these opportunities could matter for your future. According to PRISM, a consultancy, 70% of students attending a US News top 50 University have completed at least one internship while in high school. These opportunities serve as a way to distinguish yourself in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through experience. Doing internships will help you enter college with a clearer idea of the professional environments you enjoy or don’t enjoy, which will make it easier for you to recruit into a job you love after graduation. Students who have done at least one internship in high school also typically have an easier time recruiting into college internships and pre-professional organizations such as finance or pre-law clubs.


How to Find Startup Internships for High School Students


The best way to find startup internships for high school students is through online search tools and lists. The StandOutSearch database provides the largest free resource that lists almost every internship program for the high school age group and allows you to search by interest area. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships


However, official programs tend to be very competitive, so if you are serious about finding a summer internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. You can read more about how to form a cold outreach strategy to find a high school internship at the end of this article. We also include email templates to make finding an internship or research position through cold outreach less daunting.


9 Startup Internships for High School Students


Most of the startup internships for high school students below have an acceptance rate of 20% or lower, given that there are many more high school students looking for internships relative to official programs that provide them. We recommend choosing at least five opportunities to apply to. If you see an opportunity that excites you, take a moment to write the deadline on your calendar!



  • Ages: 15-19

  • Location: Virtual 

  • Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

  • Deadline: Various Deadlines


StandOut Connect is a program created thanks to investment from UChicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships in their interest area. Students interview with potential mentors who are leaders and innovators within their area of interest until they are hired for a two-month internship. Many students then receive optional return offers to continue with their internship for as long as they would like.



  • Ages: 14 - 18

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD


The Athena Summer Innovation Institute is an intensive, 3-week boot camp that provides students with the practical skills and knowledge they need to develop ideas that will make a difference in the world. Students will work in teams to create a new venture — start-up businesses, non-profit organizations, or advocacy campaigns — that have the power to disrupt traditional ways of doing things and create lasting change.



  • Ages: Rising Junior or Senior

  • Location: Princeton, New Jersey

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: May


The Venture Analyst Summer Internship position at 1435 Capital is a great opportunity for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in venture capital to gain hands-on experience and build their network within the industry. The main responsibilities of a Venture Analyst may include: investment analysis, portfolio monitoring, and market research.



  • Ages: Junior

  • Location: Knoxville, Tennessee 

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: End of March


A six-day summer program designed to introduce under-represented rising female high school juniors to the fields of technology and the intersection of tech and business. During the six-day sessions, students attend workshops that expose them to women leading in the fields of technology and business, coding, computer technology, entrepreneurship, personal branding, supply chain management, business analytics and professional development taught by university faculty and staff. Students also interact with one another through team building sessions, engage in college readiness workshops and learn from professionals in the field of business through sessions with industry leaders.



  • Ages: 14 - 19

  • Location: Chicago, Illinois

  • Timeline: Year-round

  • Deadline: TBD


Be Your Own Boss is a paid internship that gives interns the opportunity to explore the startup ecosystem, network with professional entrepreneurs, and build community with peers from all different backgrounds—all while working to create and pitch intern’s own business ideas.



  • Ages: Rising Sophomore - Senior

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: TBD


Get Girls Going (GGG) empowers Black teen girls to create social enterprises that solve problems in the world, and in doing so equips them to be leaders that challenge racial and gender inequities that prevent them from success. Get Girls Going runs a 6 week summer incubator for Black high school girls that are interested in entrepreneurship, innovation and changemaking. Every summer a cohort of Black teen girls are selected to be a part of the incubator through an intense application process. Each girl selected to be a part of the 6 week incubator program will be paired with a GGG entrepreneurship mentor and a GGG entrepreneurship advisor. GGG entrepreneurship mentors are Black/Brown in college who will work closely with our teen entrepreneurs throughout the incubator program. GGG Entrepreneurship advisors are women entrepreneurs from the Boston ecosystem or an expert in a field related to the ideas of the entrepreneur she will be advising.



  • Ages: 17 - 18

  • Location: Charleston, SC

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: Contact for Deadline


Successful candidates will rotate through the organization learning about Customer Service, Sales & Marketing, and Operations on the docks & onboard our vessels. Everyday poses different challenges and opportunities. Learn about the tours and attractions side of hospitality and see what goes into being a successful entrepreneur. This is a paid position.



  • Ages: 16 - 18

  • Location: Knoxville, TN

  • Timeline: Summer 

  • Deadline: March


The Accounting and Information Management (AIM) Academy is a summer program designed specifically for high school rising juniors who are underrepresented in the fields of accounting and information management. The program lasts for six days and provides workshops in various areas such as accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, and professional development. 



  • Ages: 14-16

  • Location: New York City

  • Timeline: Summer

  • Deadline: April


Accelerate your STEM skills and dive deeper into the science behind urban infrastructure with Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and the Science of Smart Cities (ieSoSC). ieSoSC is a follow-up to the Science of Smart Cities program for middle school students; it is designed for high school students to take their skills in computer science, engineering and technology to a new level and gain hands-on experience designing prototypes for smart city solutions.


Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 


If the opportunities listed above don’t turn out to be a fit, the next step to finding startup internships for high school students is to launch a cold outreach strategy. This may seem intimidating at first, but the guide below should make it much more simple. As an added note, please exercise caution when reaching out to professionals you don’t know. It is always safest to interview or meet virtually. 


How to Find Companies to Reach Out to for a High School Internship 


Use LinkedIn to find small companies where you can help with skills such as social media, coding, content/grant writing, or graphic design. Smaller companies that need more hands on deck will be the most likely to hire high-school-aged students. Try to find personal connections with the professionals you reach out to, such as being from the same state originally or liking the same sports team. 


How to Find Professors to Reach Out to for a High School Research Position 


You can use online university staff directories to find professors to reach out to for research positions. Note that if you are looking for a remote research position with a professor, you should be aware that these opportunities tend to be harder to come by. Professors typically have high school students help with more manual laboratory tasks such as washing beakers or running equipment and usually do not have very much use for interns at a high school education level within a remote setting. The exception is if you are doing computational research, which generally requires introductory knowledge of Python or R to parse large datasets. You should be able to learn Python or R on your own for free within a few months using resources such as Coursera’s R Programming Course or Python for Everybody.


How to Structure and Send Outreach Emails 


For a successful cold-outreach strategy, aim to send at least 50 emails to potential internship providers. Be sure to include a link to your resume, which should be no more than one page while you are in high school. UChicago provides a helpful free resume template and guide. We recommend including your resume as a Google Drive link because including it as a PDF will sometimes negatively impact the deliverability of your email. However, be sure to check that the sharing settings on the document allow anyone with the link to view its contents. It can also be a good idea to include work samples in your resume, such as the link to a website you designed, a social media account you manage, or your GitHub profile. 


Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 


If you are unsure how to structure your outreach emails to potential internship providers, here are some basic templates you can customize to your needs. 


Template for Finding an Internship


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Mr./Ms.____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I read about your company on LinkedIn and found the concept quite interesting. For context, [briefly state how the company relates to your interests or experience]. 

I was wondering if you might be looking for interns. I know I would have a great deal to learn from working with you, and I would love to contribute in any way I can. I have included my resume here. Thanks so much!


Sincerely, 


[Your name]


Template for Finding a Research Position


Subject: Student Reaching Out


Dear Professor/Dr. ____,


I hope you are having a great day! My name is [your name], and I am a rising [grade] at [your school]. I recently read your paper on [restate the abstract] in [name of publication] and was quite intrigued by [part you found interesting]. I was wondering if I might be able to intern for you over this summer. [Elaborate on your relevant skills and experience and why you are passionate about the field]. 

I have included my resume here. Thanks so much! 


Sincerely,


[Your name]



Startup Internships for High School Students
Startup Internships for High School Students


Conclusion


Whether you are applying to established programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the name of the game when looking for a high school internship or research position is perseverance. These opportunities can be extremely difficult to secure, but most high school students find it worth it in the end to get a head start on building their careers. If you found this article helpful, don’t forget to save it for later or share it with a friend. Good luck on your internship search journey! 

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