Getting an internship in high school can be difficult. Opportunities can be scarce and many organizations have a preference for older students (such as college students). It can also be logistically hard and expensive to travel and intern somewhere else.
In this article, we outline 10 programs that can help you get an internship in high school - remotely!
You'll find virtual internships in a variety of fields, including STEM, business, entrepreneurship, art and culture, environmental science, and foreign policy. There’s something for everyone.
Why do an internship in high school?
By interning before starting college, you have the opportunity to gain valuable professional experiences, learn new skills, and expand your network, all of which can prove invaluable during and after your undergraduate degree.
Internships that offer a stipend can provide financial support for pursuing passion projects or saving up for college tuition and other expenses. Additionally, internships offer the chance to apply high school learning in a real-world context, solving challenges that impact people daily.
While some internships may come with a fee, these programs often offer added guidance on how to maximize the value of your experience and prepare you to perform at your best. It is crucial to carefully review program offerings to determine which internships will be most beneficial for your personal and professional goals.
Are internships seen as prestigious?
There are multiple nationwide as well as international opportunities available, and getting selected as an intern for such prestigious programs adds great value to your resume and overall profile.
If you were to intern with an esteemed organization such as Johns Hopkins for medicine and life sciences, it would demonstrate your skills, talent, and motivation, and reflect well on your college application. Furthermore, a prestigious internship is often a door to many others, thanks to the learning and networking opportunities it provides.
That being said, the actual work that you do will be equally important and so will the way in which you write / talk about your work and experience.
What should I look for in an internship?
Before applying for internships as a high school student, you should focus on the following components -
1. Length/duration of the internship
If you are looking for an internship that is year-round, but offers you enough flexibility to work on school and test prep, make sure you look for opportunities with such durations. Summer internships are the most popular amongst high school students, as you can work on-site, and devote more time to your work due to a relatively less packed summer schedule.
Additionally, micro internships that last only a few hours may demonstrate lower initiative or a less committed experience than one that lasts a few months (such as Ladder Internships).
2. Commitment and responsibilities
Reading the job/internship description should be your first step, as many students find themselves in positions where they are assigned responsibilities that they did not sign up for. Read the commitment and responsibilities that you will be assigned, and then apply.
3. Networking opportunities
Working with industry professionals and learning from them is an essential part of a successful internship. If the opportunity you’re looking for is an on-site one that offers networking opportunities in the form of meetings, seminars, or mentorship, make sure that you make the best use of such networking opportunities.
Remote internships may limit the interactions you may have with other students and employees, but making some extra effort (such as setting up meetings with mentors, sending them an introduction email, asking them questions, and discussing ideas with your co-workers) can lead to a great networking experience.
4. Stipend or costs (your budget)
While a stipend is an attractive feature for an internship, do not base your decision solely on the money you are offered. Many opportunities are fully funded, which means that you do not have to undertake any costs (be it travel or residence). Find opportunities that align with your career and educational goals, not just the amount of stipend they offer.
If an internship requires a fee then you should understand why that is the case and whether the offerings are valuable for you given your skills, experience, and ultimate goals. For instance, if this is your first internship and you want more guidance on what it means to be ‘job ready’ and a program provides that along with an internship, it may be worthwhile for you to consider it.
Along with these factors, you should ensure that the internship you are applying for is in a field or subject that you are truly interested in.
10 Online Internship Opportunities for High School Students
This program aims to make the field of neurological sciences more inclusive and representative, with its 8-week, fully funded summer research program for bright high school students from underrepresented communities.
As part of the program, you will participate in research under the guidance and mentorship of top researchers in the field, take part in projects, discussions, scientific seminars, and weekly personal and attend professional development sessions, as well as interact with leading neuroscientists at JHU.
The program is virtual, for students who cannot attend the program on campus. JHIBS is open to 5-6 students, making the application process incredibly competitive, and provides them with an hourly stipend, and also covers transportation costs. At the end of the program, you will present your research via an oral or poster presentation. To get an idea of past projects and the experiences of past participants, visit here.
Cost: Free of cost, in-person participants receive an hourly stipend (amount varies), while virtual interns receive a stipend of $500
Location: Virtual/JHU Campus
Application Deadline: March 1, 2023
Program Dates: June 2023 - August 2023 (in-person); July 2023 - August 2023 (Virtual program)
Juniors and seniors from around the country are eligible to apply to the 5-week, virtual program.
Juniors and seniors residing in Baltimore City and the metro area, who have a strong passion and interest in science and medicine, are from underrepresented groups, and have an academically strong background are eligible for the in-person program.
Ladder Internship is a selective program for high school students to work with start-ups!
Ladder Startups work in fields including technology, machine learning and AI, finance, environmental science and sustainability, business and marketing, healthcare and medicine, media and journalism, and more. You can explore all the options here on their application form.
As part of their internship, each student will work on a real-world project and present their work at the end of their internship. In addition to working closely with their manager from the startup, each intern will also work with a Ladder Coach throughout their internship - the Ladder Coach serves as a second mentor and a sounding board, guiding students through the internship and helping them navigate the startup environment. The virtual internship is usually 8 weeks long.
Cost: $1490 (Financial Aid Available)
Location: Remote! You can work from anywhere in the world.
Application deadline: Multiple deadlines throughout the year
Program dates: 8 weeks, across cohorts that span from June to August, August to September, October to December, January to February, March to April
Eligibility: Students who can work for 15-20 hours/week, for 8-12 weeks. Open to high school students, undergraduates, and gap year students
Open to high school and college students, EnergyMag (a non-profit) offers virtual research internships to students looking to gain experience working in the renewable energy sector. Students gain research and analytical skills, alongside work experience, by researching specific companies, technologies, and markets. Internships can be half-time (2-8 weeks, 20 hours per week) or quarter-time (1-9 months, 8 hours per week)
Cost: No stipend provided
Application Deadline: Applications are open all year round, you can apply here.
Program Dates: Rolling dates
Eligibility: Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only who have taken at least one honors science or honors English class
The Smithsonian offers highly selective internship opportunities, one of them being the APAC. If you're a high school student interested in contributing to museum work related to Asian-Pacific American history, art, and culture, you should consider applying. The program invites applications from undergraduate as well as high school students, so you can expect the internship application process to be quite competitive.
As an intern with the Smithsonian APAC, you will be tasked with the development and implementation of public programs and events, contributions to research and exhibition development, as well as help with marketing and outreach efforts, and support for administrative tasks, based on the APAC department you pick to intern with.
Cost: Fully funded, stipend and college credits offered. Additionally, the Smithsonian Office of Fellowships and Internships also offers funded opportunities to interns through several scholarship programs.
Application Deadline: The application deadlines for each of the three cohorts are as follows -
Summer 2023 (June - August) - March 10, 2023
Fall 2023 - June 9, 2023
Spring 2024 - November 10, 2023
Program Dates: Vary from cohort to cohort, internships usually last about 10 weeks, with interns dedicating about 20 hours per week.
Eligibility: All high school students can apply
This is a prestigious remote internship opportunity for rising high school juniors and seniors with the PHC Group. As an intern under the Mary Miller Summer Program, you will be required to assist the team via social media-related projects, online community interaction, and technical support.
Additionally, you are also expected to engage in meaningful social marketing research and contribute to better remote collaboration and relationship building. Typical applicants possess strong technical proficiency in Microsoft Office, are fast learners, and are efficient workers for multiple projects and assignments.
The internship is a great way for you to gain experience in the consulting and marketing space, all before you join college!
Note: As part of your application, you are required to send in your resume to email@example.com
Cost: None, stipend provided
Application Deadline: Not specified, but you are urged to apply as soon as possible
Program Dates: Not specified, but the program takes place in the summer
Eligibility: All high school students can apply
The FPRI offers internships for high school students across three main verticals - Research, Operations, and Special Events.
Your responsibilities for each of these verticals are outlined here.
As an FPRI intern, you will be expected to participate in attending weekly foreign policy and career-focused seminars with guest speakers. Additionally, FPRI offers its interns the opportunity to work on an independent research paper that stands the chance to get published on FPRI’s Intern Corner.
Note that these internships call for strong commitment and interest, and require a cover letter stating why and where you wish to work, as well as a 3-5 page research writing sample for some verticals.
Cost: The stipend provided varies from vertical to vertical, you also get the chance to apply for FPRI grants for your research.
Application Deadline: Applications are evaluated on a rolling basis, below are the deadlines -
Fall Cohort - July 20, 2023
Spring Cohort - January 1, 2024 (you can expect the same deadline for the next cohort)
Summer Cohort - April 15, 2024
Fall Cohort - September – December
Spring Cohort - February – May
Summer Cohort - June – August
Eligibility: All high school students can apply
United Planet hosts multiple virtual volunteering opportunities that you can apply for as a high school student, and have been known to provide great exposure. Past volunteers have praised United Planet's opportunities for their flexibility and the range of skills developed as a result of the experience.
United Planet offers both Virtual Volunteering and Virtual Internship opportunities - however, you have to register and pay a fee that starts at $800 a month for an Internship/Volunteering Quest, with $300 as a deposit.
As a United Planet Volunteer, you can contribute across areas like health services, environmental sustainability, children and education, and community development.
Cost: Quest Fees start at $800/month, with $300 as a deposit
Application Deadline: Varies, you can check out enrollment details here.
Volunteering and internship opportunities are open throughout the year, you can sign up for opportunities that fit your schedule here.
Eligibility: All high school students above the age of 16 can apply
For students looking to advance in medical careers, Medicine Encompassed is a student-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit that assists with accessibility in the field! The organization offers multiple positions across its 18 committees, that you can apply to.
The applications for each of these positions (that are also known as general positions) are open on a rolling basis, so it is recommended you apply as soon as possible!
As an intern with Medicine Encompassed, you are required to work across any of the following departments - writing, editing, sponsorships and partnerships, graphic design, and marketing and social media, along with resource creation.
Interns are expected to have a true interest in STEAM, biology, and the branches of medicine, for genuine and enriching contributions.
Cost: No stipend is provided, certificates and nominations to the President's Volunteer Service Award (in the U.S. only) are provided.
Application Deadline: Rolling applications, you can apply here.
Internships with ME are open year-round, you can read more about it here.
Eligibility: All high school students can apply.
Building-U is a non-profit centered around helping high-school students. It operates virtually. It is currently looking for interns to assist in the administrative/business aspect of the organization. The internship position is for a duration of three months, and as an intern, you will be required to cover a vast range of duties.
Once selected, you join one of their teams – these include R&D roles, positions of student ambassadors, Business Development roles, and other profiles, more details of which you can read about here. As an intern with the business development team, you will be expected to work on cultivating partnerships, organize data around their ongoing and projected initiatives, and help them determine, develop and diversify funding streams.
Cost: No cost
Application Deadline: Rolling deadlines, it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible.
Program Dates: usually 3 months, June through August – but if the intern is open to it, can run year-round.
Eligibility: High-school students can apply
Remote learning has opened up a host of opportunities for students and professionals alike. Meaningful Teens offers internships/volunteer ships for high school students across its welfare and education programs across the world. A few programs that you can contribute to are Project Speak Together, Project Diversidad, Project Ying Wen, and Project Udaan.
These projects reach women, children, and members of underrepresented and under-resourced communities, and assist them with grammar, speaking exercises, literacy workshops, and tutoring lessons. You can contribute to any of these projects (as well as multiple upcoming ones) for a few hours every week, to make a change and learn from your experiences.
Cost: No cost, no stipend is provided.
Application Deadline: Sign-ups are open year-round, but you are urged to apply as soon as possible.
Volunteer experiences are open throughout the year, you can keep an eye out for available opportunities here.
Eligibility: All high school students can apply.
Participating in these internships is a great way to understand how to solve real-world challenges and gain experience in the field. Another way of doing this is to work on your research project.
Want to do advanced research?
If you are looking to start your own research journey with 1-1 mentorship from a top PhD, check out the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students that I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. You can find the application form here.
Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.
Image source: Ladder Internships logo