Hello students of 11th and 12th grade! If you’ve started thinking about college majors and what kind of schools and programs you’d like to apply to, a great thing to do is begin looking for internships.

Granted, this is easier said than done. So start asking around well in advance of your term breaks. You really should avail of your vacation time for some hand-on real world internship experience.

Think about your intended college major and what you really want to be and do with your degree. You want to be a journalist? Ask around for anyone who works with a newspaper or a newsroom. If you want to be an engineer, then great places to scout for internships and laboratory experience are at universities in your area. Peruse the Internet for research projects being conducted in your vicinity. Speak to professors and as them if they need a helping hand or two, because they usually do! The more you talk to everyone around you about it, the greater the likelihood that you’ll chance across something you’ll really enjoy. Speak to your parents, your friends’ parents, your parents’ friends, teachers, seniors from school, anyone at all. There are learning opportunities abounding, you only need to make your way to them.

There are numerous reasons why internships are a great idea. Let’s focus on a couple.

1) For the indecisive – At the age of seventeen, you’re presented with questions you’re really not equipped to answer. Do you want to be an engineer? Do you want to be a banker? Do you want to be a teacher? You have no way to know, because you’ve never really been one!

An internship in the field of your choice is bound to give you more exposure to the fields of your interest. You’ll really get a sense of your own abilities, your own acumen, and your own interests. It’s a great way to solidify on your choice of major and make a far more deliberate and determined decision.

2) Universities want deliberate and determined students! When your resume lists an internship, (or many internships!) the college is most likely to be impressed by your resilience. They’ll see you for the dedicated, ambitious and sure kid that you are! You’re telling an admissions officer that hey! I know what I want to do, and I can’t wait to get started! You’re also telling him that you’re unafraid and excited to roll up your sleeves, and get started in the big wide world.

Tada! And that’s the how and why for you to choose scouting for internships over watching the latest GoT episode.

Note for Parents, Students, Counsellors: The information above was to the best of our knowledge at the time that this article was published. With every application cycle, or sometimes even during it, Colleges and Universities may change dates, policies, available majors and other relevant information. These updates will be reflected on the College and University websites themselves.

Please refer to the official college websites in addition to reading these articles. These articles are written only to provide general guidelines to students, not as a substitute for individual college websites.