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  • Writer's pictureEstelle Reardon

How to Find Internships for High School Students

What’s Covered: 

  • Why Do a High School Internship?

  • How to Find Internships for High School Students

  • Programs That Match High School Students With Internships 

  • How to Build a Resume in High School 

  • Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

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

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

  • Email Template for Finding a High School Internship 

Why do a high school internship?

Before we discuss how to find internships for high school students, it is important to understand why doing an internship or research position in high school matters. Per 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 stand out in the admissions process by showing that you have gone out and verified your future goals through real-world 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 choose a major and 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 investment banking, consulting, tech, or pre-law clubs. These clubs are often the key to meeting alumni who are now working at your dream firm and can put in a good word for you in the hiring process. Aside from this, many students find it personally fulfilling to test out their skills outside the academic world and contribute to problems they care about in a professional setting. 

How to Find Internships for High School Students

The best way to find internship programs for high school students is through official programs that match high school students with internships, online search tools, or blog posts.

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, age, location, and a number of other factors. MIT Admissions also provides a helpful list of High School Internships, as does The Collegevine blog. 

It is also common to find internships in high school through family connections. However, keep in mind that certain types of firms, such as law firms and investment banks, usually do not hire high school talent because more years of education are required to meaningfully contribute. Admissions officers know this and will be skeptical of high school students who have these types of firms on their resume outside of well-recognized programs. If a family friend offers you a position, make sure there are interesting projects that you are able to tackle at your current education level (fetching coffee or organizing files will not be a very good use of your time). 

Programs That Match High School Students With Internships

Below is a list of the most well-known programs that help match high school students with internships in their interest area. If you reach out to your local city government, they may be able to provide you with similar programs for your location as well. There are not that many official programs that accept students under 18, so they tend to be quite selective. If you are serious about finding an internship in high school, you should also prepare a cold outreach strategy. Keep reading to the end of this article to learn how to create a strong cold outreach strategy for both research and traditional internships. 

Ages: 15-19

Location: Virtual

Timeline: Summer, Spring, Fall, or Winter

Deadline: Various Deadlines

StandOut Connect is a program created with the help of investment from The University of Chicago’s Polsky Center for Innovation that matches high school students with internships. 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: 16-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: School Year or Summer

Deadline: Various Deadlines

The U.S. Department of State’s Pathways Internship Program includes both the Internship Experience Program (IEP) and the Internship Temporary Program (ITEP). The programs are for U.S. citizens, and high school students are welcome to apply. These are paid opportunities to explore careers in the federal government. These opportunities relate to a variety of interest areas are are often a great fit for students even if they are not interested in government or politics. 

Ages: 14-18

Location: California

Timeline: Summer, School Year

Deadline: February

The City and County of San Francisco offers various internships and other opportunities for high school students in a plethora of sectors. A few areas where students might intern include: Airport, City Attorney, Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Department of Elections, District Attorney, General Services Adminstration, Office of Economic Workforce Development, Public Utilities Commission, Opportunities for All [San Francisco Students Only], and Public Works.

Ages: 17-18

Location: Locations Across the US

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: April

The Emma Bowen Foundation endeavors to help students flourish on their path to professional growth. They help match students with opportunities across interest areas such as journalism, arts, web development, engineering, sales, business, technology, and more. 

Ages: 14-19

Location: Texas

Timeline: Summer

Deadline: April 

This program takes place in the summer and provides paid, part-time internships for both middle and high school students across San Antonio. The program aims to help students figure out their future path through real-world experience. Family Service works with employers across disciplines to make sure that each student finds a good fit for their unique profile. 

How to Build a Resume in High School 

Whether you are applying to official high school internship programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the first step is to build your high school resume. Here is a simple template that you can use. UChicago provides a free resume guide that can help you fill in this template. It is especially important that you quantify and specify all of your accomplishments to highlight the impact you made. Reference statistics such as the number of people you impacted, the amount of money you raised, or the extent to which you improved on a personal goal. 

When building your high school resume, here are the most important rules to keep in mind:

  • Your resume should be no more than one page while you are in high school and for most of your early career 

  • The information should be presented in reverse chronological order

  • Per traditional resume formatting, you should never begin bullets with I, use complete sentences, or add periods to the end of your bullets

  • Your bullets should start with action verbs with consistent and appropriate tenses

  • If you are looking for a coding role, you should link your GitHub profile to your resume

  • Your spelling and grammar should be perfect

  • Your resume should be one page only with traditional margins and font no smaller than 11pt, Times New Roman

  • You should not include any personal information you feel uncomfortable sharing

While it may be tempting to fill two pages with every award you have ever won or class you have taken, most employers will not spend more than 30 seconds reading a resume. Less is more when drawing the reader’s attention to the most relevant aspects of your profile. Older adults also tend to find it somewhat inappropriate when they are reading a resume for a high school student that is longer than their own resume. Show your resume to your parents or teachers to get a second opinion and iterate before sending it out to opportunities. Once your resume is ready, you will be well on your way to finding an internship! 

resume for finding a high school internship
High School Resume Example

Cold Outreach Strategy for High School Internships 

Cold outreach is always scary at first, but the guide below should make it much less daunting. 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. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account, now is a great time to create one and start connecting with family members and friends in order to build your network. You can copy over most fields of your  LinkedIn profile from your resume. Alternatively, you can ask a parent or teacher if it is alright to use their LinkedIn account to search for companies to reach out to. 

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. Keep in mind that local professors will be more likely to respond and want to help.

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. 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 is also 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!


[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! 


[Your name]


Whether you are applying to well-known high school internship programs or launching a cold outreach strategy, the most important key to your success will be not giving up. Securing professional opportunities in high school is challenging and requires a great deal of persistence and optimism. We promise that if you keep trying, you will find an opportunity that is worth your effort. If you are looking for more official programs to apply to, check out the rest of StandOut Connect’s blog articles where you can read lists of opportunities specific to your interest area or geographic location.


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