“Nothing ever becomes real ’til it is experienced.” -John Keats
I’m a man of many theories, but one of the strongest theories I have is about interning in High School. I find it absolutely fascinating how internships in and of themselves were really created for the College student as a means to gain exposure and experience in their area of study. Yet, with college debt on the rise what happens for people who didn’t get it right the first time? Or those who thought they knew what they wanted to do, but quickly fell out of love with their careers? Most go back to college and pick up another degree or advanced degree; which results in more debt. You see, Higher Education is no longer something that chooses what career path we will go down, it starts to dictate our financial future at the tender age of 18. A career can be changed; money owed to a lender cannot. In today’s blog I’m going to share my theory with you a little more in depth, and explain how interning in High School can save you 100k:
Testing The Waters – Knowing exactly what you want to do by 18 years old is nothing short of crazy impressive. The adolescent brain isn’t even developed, so it only makes sense to go ahead and make one of the biggest financial investments of your life (#sarcasm) So if you don’t know what you want to do or your passion, how do you find that? The answer lies in trying different things. In High School you might be crazy into music or art; on the other hand you might like teaching and helping others. I would highly encourage you to try any and all career paths; you’ll quickly realize if it is for you or not. It’s through this game of trial and error that we realize if a certain career is something we’d truly like to pursue. Look at it like dating a career. If something doesn’t pan out, explore other options. Now I know what you might be thinking “where the heck can I intern that allows High School students?”
Small Businesses and Mentors – Now I’m about 100% sure you probably won’t be interning at IBM in High School; however there are tons of small businesses who need help, would appreciate your help, and greater yet you can talk to and get real world experience from a business owner in the field you are looking to study. So say IBM isn’t looking for High School students to Intern for them; but it’s possible Joe’s Computer Shack down the road is; I’d go talk to them. Keep in mind it’s really tough to Intern with some careers; such as a Police Officer’s or Teaching. However it never hurts to seek out a Police Officer or Teacher, and ask for their time to talk about their career, and seek a mentor ship opportunity. It’s from hearing other people’s experiences mixed in with you experiencing different things, that allow you to make a sound choice about what path you might want to go down.
The Two To Five – The biggest reason I highly encourage High School students to Intern is to gain experience. The issue I have with our workforce system is that an entry level job requires 2-5 years experience. The problem is, even if you intern in college, you have nowhere close to 2-5 years experience! By starting to intern in High School you are gaining experience, and more importantly gaining contacts and networking. Whether you intern seasonally or part time in High School, by the time you graduate College you’ll have the 2-5 years experience in a certain area of study that the market requires. By utilizing this strategy you will without a doubt have a tremendous edge over other entry level applicants.
Conclusion – I think most people are wondering “ok, so how can all of this save me 100k?” In essence your education is a matter of “doing it right the first time.” By not going back to College for a different degree, or pursuing a higher degree just so you can get some movement in your career, can save you over 100k without question. If you are a High School student looking to intern remember to look at the small businesses around you. It takes alot to run a small business and by interning at one you will be guaranteed to learn alot about the subject matter you’re interested in. Most of all remember you have time. When you are in High School time is your greatest asset; if you use it wisely it will pay extraordinary dividends down the road. What do you think? Do you feel starting to Intern earlier will get you further ahead in the workforce? Share your thoughts in the comments below!