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How Old to be an Intern?

How Old To Be An Intern?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is hold old do you have to be to be an intern?  Internships, which we’ve discussed in-depth, are by far one of the best and greatest ways to get your foot in the door at a company and to fully understand the nuances of that industry.  Interning allows you to build your network of connections and to get an insider’s look into a company. 

However, getting an internship is no easy feat and requires hard work, perseverance, and commitment on your end.  The good news?  There is no set age limit on being an intern.  Typically, most companies will require that an intern be a student at an accredited school and are working towards a degree.  With regards to how old to be an intern?  Again, this is at the discretion of the company, but most will follow state and federal regulations.

High School

There are a plethora of internships available for high school students!  Most high school students do not take advantage of the internship opportunities available to them.  However, having an internship on your resume or college application can help tremendously. Having internship experience can show colleges and universities that you are a serious applicant and that you are driven and hard working.

Furthermore, working as an intern will help you to decide which major or concentration you would like to focus on.  If you intern at a healthcare company but don’t find the work particularly suited for you, you can switch your major to another degree or industry.  Similarly, having internship experience in high school will show colleges and universities that you are a serious applicant who knows what field of study they would like to pursue.

Undergraduate

As an undergraduate student, it is absolutely crucial that you find an internship in your field of study.  These internships will open doors and allow you to build out your list of network and connections past family, friends, and acquaintances.  Interning as a college student provides you with first-hand, real world, industry knowledge.  This is knowledge that will be invaluable and extremely beneficial to you once you begin to look for a full-time position.  In addition, interning at a company that is directly correlated with your degree or major of choice may help you to land a full-time offer there.  It’s a win-win.

Graduate

As a graduate student, whether pursuing your masters or your doctorate, you may find real world experience through an internship.  Companies are especially eager to offer internship opportunities to graduate students who have shown themselves skilled and adept at their field or concentration of choice.  As graduate degrees are typically much more specialized, you’ll find that companies will be more eager to offer you internship opportunities.

Career Change

One of the best ways to begin a new career or to break into a career is to intern there.  If you are unhappy or feel ill-suited at your current company or industry, you should consider interning at a separate company in a different industry.  Allowing yourself to intern there will allow you to be exposed to new concepts and career opportunities.

However, breaking into a new career as a career professional is especially difficult.  Many companies are weary to hire career professionals or individuals with multiple years of experience on their resume.  The reason?  The individual may simply be past the interning phase and may find it difficult to assume that title.  If you’re serious though, you should attempt to allay the interviewer’s fears and let them know that you are fully ready to make that leap to an internship.

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