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Is it impossible to find internships in high school, or is it just me?
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I’ve been seeing that colleges want you to show internships as one of the extracurricular activities on your application. Honestly though it seems impossible to find an internship that’ll actually take high school students. They all seem to want someone already in college or with skills that I don’t know how to develop other than already having an internship. If you’ve already done an internship – where did you find it? Did you match all of their requirements when you applied, or did you just apply anyway? What can I do to get an internship? (I’m a sophomore rn, and am taking AP Chem. Interested in literally anything that would give me science related ECs. Bonus points if you can help me find something in the Washington, D.C. area!)

science
internship
sophomore
extracurriculars

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Accepted answer

Yeah, a lot of places won’t take underage or high school interns. But I imagine that science-related internships are more difficult for a high schooler to find than others because if you’re in a lab they might involve live animals, expensive equipment, harsh chemicals, and other things where having a minor around could be a liability. And then you have to consider local regulations for minors in the workplace. I’ve only interned in office/political campaign settings where I wouldn’t have potential safety issues like that and I follow the news so that’s where I usually find groups and people I want to get involved with. But I’ve never formally applied for anything, I’ve just been given internships through mutual contacts.

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Yea, I think this is a pretty common problem for a lot of students unfortunately. Since you're asking this question I'm going to assume you're old enough for an internship but just in-case, you're going to need to be at least 16 for basically any opportunity. I think one of the best ways you might be able to gain some skills is by volunteering somewhere. Even if it's not the most prestigious I bet you can take some of the skills you learn volunteering and apply them to an internship application.

I know you asked for science related ECs but I think the suggestion @Ellen made for an office/political campaign internship could be a really good place to start!

Maybe this site can help you: https://www.internships.com/high-school/washington-dc and I also found some internships here: https://www.indeed.com/q-High-School-Internship-l-Washington,-DC-jobs.html (and some even look like they're paid!).

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I don't necessarily think colleges need to see an internship on your application but rather they just want to see you have ECs and are actively involved in things that interest you. Like the others have said, getting an internship is hard already, but getting an internship as a sophomore is even more difficult. It looks like the link that other person posted might have a couple good places for you to start.

Look into volunteering somewhere if that's possible. Or maybe you could shadow someone in a science field? You might just have to send an email blast to any place that you think could take you and just hope to get lucky.