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How can a high schooler obtain a machine learning/AI internship?

Where would a high schooler (assuming they have the necessary programming skills) find valuable internships in the field of ML/AI? What would make them stand out as applicants?

#computer-science #summer-internship #internship #high-school-student


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Jorge’s Answer


Typically, many tech companies look for interns only from universities (bachelor or master level). The only high school interns I've seen knew someone (friends or family) who already worked at the company and who may have good relationship with a hiring manager. That said, it won't hurt to try and hustle. Here are some of the areas you can best prepared yourself for success:

- Be very knowledgable with the programming language and tools involved with machine learning, e.g. Python, Torch, Dataframe, Panda, etc.
- I don't know if statistics or machine learning are taught in high school nowadays. If not, there are a lot of resources online, e.g. Coursera or Udemy.
- Have done a few machine learning projects and published them in Github. Kaggle (kaggle.com) offers a lot of interesting machine learning projects and free datasets you can play with.

Thank you! Will do. Maya P.

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Gautam’s Answer

Hi Maya,
Thank you for asking the question. It's great to see that you are already thinking about internships to learn and improve your skills. I'll list out some areas that you can potentially explore but it is in no way an exhaustive list.

1. In your school: There are a number of opportunities to apply AI/ML skills to everyday school problems. Talk to your teachers, parents/guardians, and peers and learn about some of the problems that you can help solve, see if AI/ML can solve the problem efficiently. An example could be converting teachers lecture to text, and then using AI to generate notes, deadlines, tagging notes by topics (and then allowing students to search).

2. Just the fact that you are interested in AI/ML internships at a high school level makes you stand out amongst other candidates. Once you have that, the next step is to showcase your skills with some of the projects that you have completed in AI/ML. The size and complexity of project doesn't matter, it's the thought process that went into solving the problem. That should be good to help you stand out.

3. Start-ups: The number of start-ups that are getting created today around AI/Ml is huge. They are always looking for people who can help with their growth especially during the early stages. There's https://angel.co which is a good platform to start with. Some companies post their AI/ML problems on the platform and you can contact them to discuss potential solutions. That can act as a starting point for conversations. Since I'm not a lawyer, I have no idea around the legal aspect of hiring high schoolers for internships, make sure you check that out.

4. Open source projects: Contribute to open source AI/ML projects on GitHub or any other platform. Institutions like United Nations, NGOs, etc do have some interesting problems that can help you build your skills.

Hope that helps.

Thank you! Maya P.

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Sundar Rajan’s Answer

Become a kaggler. Try solving Kaggle challenges. Get on the leader board. The experience is not only educational, it will prepare you better for opportunities. It will also direct you to play with data. There is not substitute for hands on trial and error. Especially with data.
The fact that a high schooler wants to get in there in itself is a great thing. Hunt for problems and solve and see what excites you and keeps you on your toes. Employers are keen on what kind of challenges you have dealt with. You may not have solved them yet. What is important is how well and hard you tried. The one who failed the most is the one who has learnt the most. Good potential opportunities will be able to read that from the prospect.

There are too many great resources available to try, learn and apply. If possible, sign up for MOOCs and get some certifications.

Become a heavy-metal coder. Get used to visualization packages to demostrate your learning. Be a voracious reader. Opportunities are in plenty. As you do the above, you will see what you failed to see before!

Thank you! I appreciate it! Maya P.

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Anna’s Answer

I am not aware of AL/ML internship offered to HS students but that doesn't mean never. Some companies sponsors hackathons in local communities. That may be a good way to show them your technical competencies that may open some doors for internship.

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Anna’s Answer

I am not aware of AL/ML internship offered to HS students but that doesn't mean never. Some companies sponsors hackathons in local communities. That may be a good way to show them your technical competencies that may open some doors for internship.

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