Hi! I am currently a high school junior taking Calc BC and I had a career fair at school with a very motivational civil engineer speak to us.
I do a lot of Biology related activities (I had an internship at a neurology lab, USABO, Biology Club President, AP Biology and SAT II Bio full scores, etc), but I want to check out what engineering is like and not just limit myself to med and biology just because I had more exposure to it in my first two years of high school. I have no experience at all with engineering…
Would I be too ambitious to email engineers to ask for a non paid summer internship, where I can do whatever they ask me to do? I am willing to study and work on anything at all, as long as they can trust me – I have a good CV and have great grades (current rank is 1/300+ students). Would anyone want a non experienced high schooler volunteering there? I mean I don’t mind too much about doing busy work like filing papers, but I definitely hope to get actual exposure to their work and whatever basics they can teach me.
It doesn’t hurt to try. It will likely depend on company policy as well as possible liability concerns.
You don’t need an engineering internship to get into an engineering school for college. You can save those for when you are actually in college pursuing an engineering degree. If you can do something that can help you demonstrate an interest in engineering, for example attending an engineering summer camp, that would give you a chance at getting into a good engineering school.
Another way to demonstrate interest in engineering is to pick whatever aspect of engineering you think is the coolest, and research it and watch videos about it and watch interviews of experts who talk about various projects they did, and then pick a few cool projects and contact the people who worked on them (literally, contact the company and ask to speak to them) and say you’re a high school student that wants to hear more about their work, and ask them intelligent questions and then publish either blogs or articles about the projects and the interviews you had with their creators. Anyone can do this, and it’s free. And those that do will be clearly demonstrating interest and initiative.