Should your teen get an internship?

Internships are a good way for teens to explore career options in a real work environment. An internship is a learning experience more than a way to earn money. Most internships don't pay at all. If your teen has a particular field of interest, for example media, business, law, environmental issues or animals, then an internship is a way to explore opportunities, get hands-on training and take steps toward achieving a long-term goal. Internships can teach teens how to work under a deadline, how to work for a boss and how to network with people who can help advance their career.

Internships are offered to high school students as well as college students. Some companies offer short-term internships, often during the summer vacation, to high school students who are willing to work hard and learn. Sometimes a short-term unpaid internship can lead to a part-time, full-time or seasonal job offer. Teens who do well and apply themselves in internships can get good references from their employer, which may help them in the future when they apply for other jobs. Internships are a way to find out what education is necessary for a specific career, as well as open doors for the future. Teens learn what they need to do to succeed, they learn responsibility, and they build skills they will need later in life in the adult world.


Internships are often advertised through schools. Your teen can also use the direct approach and inquire at specific companies or businesses that interest them. Teens learn from experience, and internships are positive experiences that can provide insight as well as skills and teach how to build good work relations.