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Unpaid Internships vs. Paid Internships

As a former student, I know how important internships are to the majority of students. It’s not only going to help you learn more about the industry of your field but that one experience of an internship can help boost you up to a future job. Getting internships, to be honest, can be quite a challenge and in fact, one summer during college, I have gone through 5(!!!) internship interviews for two months of the summer. Most of these internships were paid positions except for one and for some, I haven’t heard back from them.

Anyways, if you’re looking for an internship and want to begin your search, first consider if you want an unpaid one or a paid internship. You might end up limiting your choices or being open to both options. Below are the pros and cons of an unpaid or a paid internship has:

Unpaid internships

Internships are getting more competitive and while the job market can be to blame, the reason can also be the process of eliminating intern candidates is a crucial step for companies. We know that paid internships are looked into more than unpaid internships but did you know that having an internship and being treated like an employee of the job is a great experience for some? It also helps you get experience and acquire the skills you need out of a position you hope to attain for a job and that can be valuable enough to some. Non-profit organizations have more unpaid internships and sometimes they can be a for-profit organization too. Those for-profit organizations may be accepting unpaid interns but that for-profit organization can be a huge brand or company that others would love to just have the opportunity to work for. This would be a smart choice if you have a way of sourcing where you can get your income support rather than relying on the internship to support you financially.

Paid internships

If you have already experienced an unpaid internship and believe that the stepping stone to your career now is paid, then consider this. Paid internships are ideal for people (like me) who want to kill two birds with one stone: get paid and get valuable experience and growth out of it. It’s also a good idea for those who are financially struggling and want to make an income out of their temporary job. You might also think about the hard work you do, you might believe you need to be compensated for it and believe that a paid internship will benefit you.

Now here are a few questions you can ask yourself to make a decision:

  • What am I looking to get out of an internship?
  • With my already proven skills and work, do I need to move on to a position that will pay me for my work?
  • Do I need financial support?
  • Will this internship give me a future I can possibly get into?

Or you can just opt for college credit if required and either one may help you on it. Either way, interning for whichever it is can both give you the opportunity to possibly make it a job, not that there are any guarantees but remember to always stay optimistic and hopeful! I hope this helps you with your decisions.

Feature image credit: Start Up Stock Photos