Discover+ Opportunities: Internships

November 14, 2023

In the highly competitive world of college admissions, standing out from the crowd is key. Internships hold the potential to transform your college application from ordinary to extraordinary. Internships provide a bridge between textbook knowledge and real-world application. Colleges recognize the value of hands-on experiences in shaping individuals who are not only academically proficient but also equipped with practical skills.

Discover+, AtomicMind’s free online catalog of high-impact extracurricular opportunities, was inspired by our years of experience helping students find and engage in a broad array of meaningful, enriching extracurricular activities, including impressive internships, ten of the most intriguing of which are described below. Feel free to contact us for guidance and support in choosing and engaging in an internship that is the right fit for you.

Kopernik Observatory and Science Center High School Internship Program

The Kopernik Observatory and Science Center in Vestal, New York, offers a High School Internship Program for students in grades eight through twelve. The program offers valuable experience in communication, organization, and science and engineering skills, with opportunities to work with students and the public. Interns will learn how to use a telescope and other astronomical equipment. Interns are expected to volunteer about twelve times a semester, with flexible shifts lasting three to four hours. Duties include assisting with events, working in the gift shop, answering phones, supporting STEM classes, and organizing supplies. Participants will receive a letter of recommendation.

National Institute of Health’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Summer Internship

The National Institute of Health’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) offers a paid summer research internship for students interested in cancer epidemiology, biostatistics, and genetics. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the program is open to high school, college, postbaccalaureate, and graduate students. Interns work for at least eight weeks between May and September under the supervision of a Division researcher. The program is part of the NIH Summer Internship Program in Biomedical Research and encourages participation in seminars, lectures, and poster presentations. DCEG research areas include biostatistics, clinical genetics, integrative tumor epidemiology, infections and immunoepidemiology, metabolic epidemiology, occupational and environmental epidemiology, radiation epidemiology, and translational genomics. Interns have the flexibility to explore cross-cutting scientific studies, including health disparities and gender differences. DCEG researchers engage in population studies and mentor interns on various research topics.

U.S. Senate - Senate Page Internship

Since the early nineteenth century, the U.S. Senate has enlisted young individuals, known as pages, to aid senators in the Chamber. Present-day pages, appointed and sponsored by a senator, must be high school juniors who are at least sixteen years old. Their responsibilities include delivering correspondence and legislative material within the Capitol complex, preparing the Chamber for Senate sessions, and transporting bills and amendments to the desk. There are four established page sessions. Two of these are academic semesters running from early September through mid-January and mid-January through mid-June, with pages attending classes at the United States Senate Page School. Additionally, there are two summer sessions, each lasting three or four weeks depending on the legislative calendar.

Scripps Research Institute Florida High School Student Summer Internship Program

The Scripps Research High School Student Summer Internship Program is a paid opportunity for high school students in Palm Beach or Martin County, Florida, to engage in biomedical research at Scripps Florida under the supervision of an experienced scientist. The program focuses on the scientific process, research planning, bench experience, experimental design, data analysis, and interaction with lab personnel. Selected students undergo a one-week introductory course at Palm Beach State College, covering standard biomedical research techniques. Participants work full-time for eight weeks, attend scientific seminars, and are expected to submit a written scientific abstract and make an oral presentation at the program’s conclusion. While students from all backgrounds are considered, there is a special emphasis on recruiting those historically underrepresented in the sciences, such as African-American, Hispanic, Native Pacific Islander, or Native American students.

University of California-Santa Cruz Science Internship Program

The Science Internship Program (SIP) at the University of California-Santa Cruz is a ten-week research internship in STEM fields for motivated high school students. It provides practical experience in research groups at UCSC, where students work alongside faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers. The program aims to offer a transformative experience by immersing students in real scientific research teams. Participants engage in research project design, application of methods, data collection, analysis, and effective communication of findings. SIP emphasizes mentorship, enabling students to witness scientific passion in action, collaborate with scientists, and develop skills in scientific computing, lab work, and presentation, both written and oral. The program concludes with a symposium at the university, where students present their research. Some projects may be eligible for science competitions. Selection is based on interest, motivation, and analytical thinking. SIP accommodates both local and out-of-area students through on-campus housing options or remote project participation.

Projects Abroad – Medical Internships in Nepal

This summer internship involves rotating through various hospitals in Nepal’s Chitwan District, offering exposure to both urban and rural healthcare settings. Participants observe and learn from professional medical staff across different departments, attend lectures at a teaching hospital to enhance basic medical skills, and gain insights into Nepal's history and culture. Primarily observational, the internship allows shadowing in diverse medical fields such as physical therapy, family planning, eye health, and cancer treatments. The itinerary, curated for a balance of medical experience and adventure, includes visits to national parks, Buddhist temples, and hands-on experiences like learning to cook Nepalese dumplings. Supervisors accompany interns, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of Nepal's medical landscape and cultural richness.

Oregon Health & Science University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Summer Internship Program

The University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Summer Internship Program offers high school and early college students in Oregon the chance to gain experience in the disability field, acquire transferable skills, and explore healthcare career paths. The program, which is offered annually, includes training on disability justice, advocacy, and various career options, as well as professional development sessions and tours at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) labs, clinics, and facilities. Interns commit approximately twenty-four hours per week for eight weeks to projects at Institute on Development and Disability centers, focusing on research, clinical care, information dissemination, or community programs. Networking opportunities with other interns, OHSU staff, and faculty are provided, and participants present their summer experiences at the program’s conclusion. The internship is tailored for students interested in healthcare careers, specifically with an emphasis on disability.

The Jackson Laboratory Summer Student Program

The Summer Student Program at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, Maine, is a paid fellowship providing an immersive experience in genetics and genomics research. Approximately forty students are selected for this competitive program, where they work on ongoing research projects under the guidance of experienced mentors. Participants develop and implement independent projects, analyze data, and present their findings at a symposium at the end of the summer. The program aims to admit students from diverse backgrounds, enhancing the impact of the experience and contributing to national efforts to broaden the biomedical research workforce. Emphasis is placed on admitting individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, disadvantaged socioeconomic and educational backgrounds, first-generation college students, and those with disabilities.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s High School Internship Program

The Manhattan District Attorney's High School Internship Program offers a comprehensive six-week internship in Manhattan, New York. Participants gain insights into the criminal justice system through workshops and discussions on topics such as criminal justice, police brutality, civic engagement, and leadership. The program includes presentations and conversations with staff to develop a foundational understanding of policy development and implementation. Interns are required to commit to the full session from July 10 to August 25, participating in-person Monday through Friday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Interns receive a stipend of $175 per week.

The Met High School Internship Program: School Year

The Met School Year High School Internship provides paid opportunities for tenth and eleventh-grade students in New York City. The program connects students with arts, museum, and creative professionals, offering a chance to develop professional skills, network, and gain work experience during the academic year. The internship includes an eight-hour bootcamp for training and workshops, followed by departmental placements where interns spend forty hours observing, assisting, and being mentored by museum staff in chosen departments. Career Labs feature discussions and workshops led by professionals in various roles at the museum. The program includes a mid-semester check-in, participation in Teens Take the Met! event, and a final event where interns share insights and experiences gained during their placements.