When Kids Go To Work — Summer Jobs and Internships

Tomorrow is Take Your Kids To Work Day, but there are plenty of kids out there who have already gone to their parents workplaces, maybe even several years in a row. They are probably old enough to be thinking about a summer job; unfortunately, this will be one of the hardest summers on record for teens to find a summer job.

If you are a teen looking for summer work, why not develop your own internship? While it is not always easy, developing an internship gets you thinking about what you want to do and what you want to learn on the job. You can use internship directories or online internship search sites to get started. These resources will give you an idea what is possible: both where to work and what kinds of projects you can do at an internship. Then look around you. What interests you? Live near a golf course or marina and are curious how they are run?

Make a list of what you would like to learn at each place of interest and some example projects you could do. Come up with your dates of availability, whether you want to work full-time, part-time, volunteer, credit, paid or barter. Write up a basic resume or at least make a list of skills and part-time jobs you have held. Ok, deep breath. Here is the hard part: Find out who hires at your internship place of choice and call them with your proposal. Do not get discouraged; some places have never considered having an intern. Others may not want to deal with insurance liability issues of having you work there or will not have funds for a summer intern. Tell this person how you could benefit them, and ask for feedback on how realistic your internship project ideas are. Keep calling places in which you are interested until you get a “Yes.”

Getting Started

The Princeton Review puts out a new “Internship Bible” each year with tips on applying or creating your own and a list of places offering internships. Check Amazon.com or your public library for the current edition.

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