A high school apprenticeship, or internship, provides more than just an entre to the particular field or profession that the internship takes place in. It is the closest simulation to real life. First, the student must identify what job they would like to learn about. Then they need to identify possible companies who may hire them. Often, they will need to create a resume and sell themselves as the best candidate for the job. And, finally, they need to perform well on the job to keep the position.
Internships are not difficult to find. Internships are posted with high school counselors and on Internet sites. A more creative way to secure an apprenticeship is to find a company the teen likes and contact them directly. The student should send a strong, concise cover letter explaining why they feel strongly about the company and what skills they can bring to the job. With a bad economy, companies are more than happy to give jobs to capable teens for credit as opposed to dollars. The companies will provide training and mentoring, but then expectations are high for the teen to perform to the same standard as a salaried employee. The lessons a student learns can prove invaluable. When a teen is valued and relied upon in the adult world, they step up to the challenges presented to them.
Often, when the intern is capable and doing a good job, the employer will allow the student to really stretch their wings. For example, a student who worked in a hospital was allowed to go on rounds and assist in taking patient’s vital signs, under the watchful eye and strict tutelage of the head nurse. Another young student was encouraged to write a full-page article for a national publication. His drafts were carefully edited and revised until finally he achieved the quality they were looking for. It was quite a feat for this student, something that he will remember for a lifetime.
Internships can set the student apart from other applicants during the college application process. It can help them demonstrate passion for a particular field or cause. The internship experience, both good and bad, can provide interesting material for an essay and also create more meaningful dialogue during the interview stage. A successful internship will boost confidence that will carry on to all areas of the student’s life.