10 Summer Internship Programs to Maximize Your Summer

Friday, April 05, 2024
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Regarding summer break, you might think of the pool, the beach, a part-time job, or traveling abroad. All of these are great options for a fun, productive summer. We all love to get down to the coast and crack open the latest beach read, but you should consider your future after high school. Undergraduate and graduate college applications start early, and the summers between those years can be crucial to bolstering those applications with any extracurriculars you can find. One great way to really improve your application is by seeking out any internships that spark your interest.  

High school and college internships are what you make of them. They can be paid, unpaid, long-term, short-term, local, or abroad. These internships can introduce you to new people, worlds, and places and create fond memories. Some of the best training in any field is hands-on, which can happen before you even walk across that stage in May. By finding the right internship, you can go to college with a newfound confidence you never knew that you had. To help you, we have compiled a list of ten internships that might interest you this summer. 


1. NASA Internship Program

NASA Summer Internship for high school students

What better way to kick off your summer than studying amongst the stars? Through NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM), high school and college students worldwide will get a chance to work side-by-side with some of the brightest minds in science. Through practical, eye-opening experiences under the NASA umbrella, your summer will become unforgettable. The internship opportunities are massive, varied, and highly diverse given NASA's size and scope. Some are paid, others are unpaid, but each one of them is worth it. With so many choices, you have a much better chance at a summer you will never forget. 


2. The Microsoft Discovery Program 

This fantastic, four-week foray into the digital world is perfect for any tech-savvy high school student passionate about the future. If you are a rising Freshman with acceptance at any four-year university, and you live in either Redmond, Washington, or Atlanta, Georgia, you can apply. In this program, you will meet with the best and the brightest Microsoft employees, learn how to work with the pros by shadowing them through a full design phase of a new product creation. You will see, first-hand, how the Microsoft life cycle of their products evolves and changes from department to department. This is an internship for the ages! 


3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Summer High School Internship 

Most of the available internships for high school students are only open to Seniors about to graduate, but that’s not the case at the Met. They believe students as early as tenth grade should have a chance to begin their artistic career. This is why every year, they offer paid internships for any high school student living in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut, and ranging from tenth to twelfth grade. This program prides itself on the diversity of their learning. Once accepted, you as the student, are allowed to select which piece of the Met’s pie you want to dig into. Whether it be, marketing, social media management, education, scientific research, or the editorial process, you will partner with a Met professional and learn their job from the inside out. The program is broken down into several weeks, with individual “labs' ' parceled throughout to afford the students with the richest experience the Met can offer. If you qualify, do not hesitate to apply to this one. It’s bound to be spectacular! 


4. The Smithsonian Summer Internship

If you have ever visited the Smithsonian on a field trip or with family, you know it's a big place with much more to offer than anybody could imagine. It makes sense, then, that their internship opportunities would be the same way. This organization prides itself on having many great avenues to explore. Examples of their wonderful internships include Katzenberger Foundation Art History Internships, where students learn how to research and document art; the Benjamin Lawless Internship, where students are taught the important skill of audience engagement and exhibition design; and The National Air and Space Museum Internships, where students can learn everything from space travel exploration, archeology, aeronautics, and fact-finding. These internships are fantastic for a summer filled with new adventures. 


5. The Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program

If you are serious about the law, then there is no time to waste. Use this summer to enhance your future career prospects tenfold by applying to this prestigious, truly top-notch program for young people who wish to dedicate their lives to public service. In this program, the selected high school student will be paired with one the office’s staff members to learn the ins and outs of practicing law. The program is set up to actually educate students in real-time by holding open discussions with key staffers regarding everything from police brutality to drugs and alcohol policies. All applicants must reside in the state of New York and be a sophomore, Junior, or Senior. 


6. The NextGen High School Internship Program

For any high school students who have ever been curious about the world of genetics and the science surrounding it, this program might be a wonderful way to spend your summer this year. Offered through the extraordinary Emory University, the Department of Human Genetics is looking for people dedicated to the genome project. This area of science has a history of exclusion and Emory is looking to amend this issue. This summer, the department wants to encourage any and all underrepresented minorities in the greater Atlanta area in Georgia to apply for this internship. You will be working with some of the top minds to uncover more about where we come from, and where we might go, with some of the smartest minds in the country. 


7. The Stevens Institute of Technology Summer Internships

Sometimes when we want to explore the world, we’re not always sure where exactly we might want to start first. At Stevens Institute of Technology, they know that feeling. That is why this incredible organization has worked hard to provide high school students the chance to do whatever feels right to them. This summer alone, the Institute offers more than ten different internships to high school students nationwide. Everything from “Artificial Intelligence in Modern Society” to “Civil Engineering Design” is available, with top-notch instructors to guide you along the way. The full list of internships is available on their website. Take a look and decide where you might blossom this summer. 


8. The Scripps Student Research Internship 

This is a wonderful opportunity for students devoted to science, health, and medicine. Over a ten-week course, students will participate in group labs that broaden their horizons on what is possible in the wide world in front of them. Their main focus is to educate students ranging from high school to college-graduate school levels in the field of translational medical research. If you are a high school junior or senior invested in science, consider this incredible course. 


9. The New York Times High School Program

NYC Summer Internships for high school students

You might have a passion for politics, journalism, acting, directing, or dancing. If these things intrigue you, this fantastic internship is just for you. Held on the NYU campus, high school students in grades 10-12 are encouraged to apply to any one of the amazing summer programs they offer. This is being held exclusively in New York City, so the cost of applying and living can be steep. But if you can take this chance, nothing is stopping you. This would look great on job resumes, college applications, and to all your friends when you run into them again at the beginning of a new year. But be aware: applications get applied to fast, so don’t wait. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime chance!


10. The National Geographic Photography Internship

I’m sure you have seen the documentaries on your parent’s television, or in class, or maybe you watch NatGeo on your own. Whatever the case may be, have you ever wondered what it might be like to do that job yourself? Well, thanks to the National Geographic Society, you can! Every summer the society offers a small number of students a paid internship to travel to another location and learn what it’s like to shoot photography and video for their channel. Depending on which program you choose from under their umbrella, this exhilarating opportunity does not come around often. So take a chance, apply with pride, and see where your daring spirit takes you. 


NSHSS proudly supports all high school and college students nationwide and beyond. Our goal with this brief yet comprehensive list was to open your eyes to the greater possibilities that are out there. From science and health to art and storytelling, there is a place out there waiting for what you have to offer. Do not be intimidated by your age, your station in life, or your financial hang-ups. There are programs out there that will be better off with you on their side. So get cracking on applications, fill your summer with adventure, and watch as your confidence soars and your world grows infinitely bigger. 

If you have any more interest in other internships, or you just have questions about the idea of internships themselves, feel free to visit our Intern Readiness Certificate Program page and see what more we offer!