10 Benefits of Internships For College Application

Student on the phone and holding a laptop attending her internship
April 23, 2024
6 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/23/24

Why are internships important? What purpose do internships serve? What are the benefits of internships? All of these questions, and more, will be answered in this guide!

Do an internship! It’s advice almost every family member, counselor, or teacher will give you when you want to choose the perfect career. While it’s sound advice, you may be on the fence about whether pursuing an internship is truly worth it.

As a high school student, your schedule is likely already packed with school work, extracurriculars, and other commitments. Should you really pursue an internship on top of these other responsibilities?

The quick answer is yes, absolutely! But, to convince you and elaborate on why you should pursue an internship, this guide will go over their importance and benefits!

Why Are Internships Important?

While there are several reasons why you should pursue an internship, the main reason students complete internships is to get their feet wet and learn more about the field they plan on entering. 

For students who are torn between career choices, or simply want to know more about the ones they’re most interested in, internships can provide them with the clarification they need.

This preliminary experience is essential for high school students to choose the right programs to apply to and to begin developing their resumes!

Top 10 Benefits of Internships

Here is a more detailed breakdown of the major perks of pursuing an internship:

1. An Introduction To the Professional Workforce

Students shaking hands

Students typically participate in internships related to a field they’re considering joining. For instance, students considering majoring in STEM may join a NASA summer internship to learn more about the field and confirm their interests in it. 

This experience can help students pick the right college programs and feel more confident in their career choice.

2. Will Help You Gain Experience in Difficult Fields

wooden gavel

As a high school student, you will find it difficult to gain actual employment in professional fields such as science, law, or business. Internships allow you to get your foot in the door and begin building your resume. 

While you’ll be performing tasks such as note-taking, cleaning beakers, or doing coffee runs, you’ll still get a feel for your field’s culture and demands. These internships are generally also unpaid but will allow you to develop some of the skills required to excel in these difficult fields. 

The skills you develop through your internship can aid you in securing more positions within the field in college. For instance, if you participate in a research internship in high school, you will find it easier to secure a more extensive research position during your undergrad.

3. Will Help Boost Your College Application

college campus

If you’re wondering what internships do for your college applications, the simple answer is a lot! Admissions committees conduct holistic reviews of their candidates, meaning you’ll be expected to excel in more than just your academics. 

Having internship experience can help you get into college by differentiating your application, proving your dedication to your desired field, and making you a more attractive candidate. It can allow you to demonstrate your ability to manage your time and juggle multiple time-consuming commitments at once!

If you land a coveted internship position that is highly selective, this will strengthen your college application even more and prove that you have unique traits and talents to offer!

4. You Can Begin Networking

two people shaking hands

During your internship, you’ll be working under the supervision of professionals who have been working in the field for at least a few years.

You can not only ask them more questions about your desired career, but can network and begin building connections that you can use for letters of recommendation for college or other jobs. You can also keep in contact with these professionals to learn about different job openings and keep updated on the field.

5. Can Lead to More Employment

contract form

Many internships offer the possibility of full-time or part-time employment once you’ve completed your internship. If you’re successful and prove to be a hard-working, valuable team member, you may be able to continue working for the company throughout high school, college, and/or after college. 

This is a great way to work your way up within a company as you gain more experience, education, and training. 

6. Will Help you Develop Valuable Skills

daily planner open next to computer

Regardless of the type of internship you pursue, it will help you develop skills that will be transferable to any career. 

While you will certainly increase your technical abilities in your specific field, you will also learn how to collaborate with others, ask questions, meet deadlines, manage your time more efficiently, and stay organized. 

7. Can Meet Like Minded Individuals

young adults laughing together

Another one of the major benefits of internships is that they can help you meet peers in the same boat as you! You can expect there to be other high school interns working at the same company as you. 

You can learn more about how they’re approaching the field, what experiences they’ve pursued or plan on pursuing, and the programs they’re interested in applying to. This will offer you more direction on your own post-secondary career path and help you create a more defined college plan.

You may even make some friends planning on going to the same college as you! You’ll appreciate seeing a familiar face on campus as you get accustomed to your new environment. 

8. You Will Receive Helpful Feedback

people looking at computer screen together

As an intern, you’ll constantly receive feedback on your performance. While this may seem intimidating, it will help you strengthen your weaknesses and enhance your strengths. You’ll remember this feedback throughout college and afterwards and will apply it to the subsequent jobs you pursue.

9. Will Boost Your Confidence

woman smiling while handing over papers

Joining a professional workplace as a high school student can leave you feeling out of your element. You may wonder if you have the skills required to complete the tasks you’re expected to or if you’ll just get in the way of more experienced employees. There will be a lot of what if’s and self-doubt.

But, by the end of your internship, you will have more self-confidence and a better understanding of the talents and skills you possess!

10. You Can Earn Some Money

red piggy bank

There are some paid internships, similar to co-ops, that can give you extra pocket money to spend! Pursuing these internships in the summer is a great way to stay productive and earn some money for the school year. Although, you should be aware that the majority of high school internships are unpaid. 

To make your decision to pursue an internship as simple as possible, consider this summarized list of the pros and cons of internships:


This guide has gone over the positives and negatives of internships. For any remaining questions, read on to find your answers.

1. What Are the Pros and Cons of Internships?

The main pros of participating in an internship are:

  • It’ll help confirm your interest in a field or expose you to a new career you’re more suited for
  • It can help you gain experience in fields that are difficult to enter
  • It will strengthen your college application and make you a more attractive candidate
  • You can begin networking to advance your career or secure strong letters of recommendation
  • Your internship can lead to more permanent positions
  • You’ll develop useful personal and professional skills
  • You may meet other students who can help you determine your career path 
  • You’ll receive feedback to work on your strengths and weaknesses
  • You’ll gain confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • You can earn some money through your internship

Some cons of internships include:

  • They are typically highly competitive, especially paid ones
  • They are time-consuming and can be difficult to manage on top of your other commitments
  • The majority of them are unpaid or low-paying
  • You will be in charge of mainly administrative tasks, grabbing coffee, cleaning beakers, and other duties that are often considered to be grunt work

Clearly, there are far more pros to internships than cons!

2. Who Benefits More From An Internship?

There isn’t a particular student that benefits the most from internships. Every student will benefit from internships, whether it be those that are experimenting to find their perfect field or those that are confident in their career choice and want to begin gaining experience in it.

Internships can also help any high school student stand out in their college applications.

3. Why Should a High School Student Apply For Internships?

The main reason high school students should apply for internships is to make the most informed post-secondary decisions, such as which programs to apply to and which majors to declare. Gaining this experience in their desired field will help them confirm or deny their interests so they can avoid switching majors or transferring colleges.

Final Thoughts

After learning about the various benefits of internships, you should be convinced to pursue one yourself! These experiences will help you throughout your high school and post-secondary journey. Internships can help you choose the right career and become a more attractive college applicant and employee!

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