For most students, getting an internship is easier said than done.
Students with money are able to take up paid internships in different parts of the country, while those without are forced to settle for unpaid internships. Still, are unpaid internships all that bad?
11 Reasons An Unpaid Internship Is Absolutely Worth Your Time
Here are 11 reasons why they can actually be worth your while.
1. No Money, But You Can Leverage Other Benefits
An unpaid internship may even offer you greater responsibilities.
Employers who are unable to pay their interns can be persuaded to offer more serious work than interns can hope to get, and valuable references besides.
2. Paid Or Unpaid, An Internship Adds Value To Your Resume
You’ll have a better appreciation of what any future employer might want of you.
The industry knowledge you gain gives you an edge, which adds to your resume, which, along with your work experience makes your resume more valuable.
3. Paid Or Unpaid, You Will Learn The Necessary Practical Skills
You’ll pick up marketing strategies, communication skills, research tactics, lobbying, negotiation skills, computer skills and other industry-specific practical skills.
Having these skills in your tool-set is a definite plus for your future.
4. The Right Unpaid Internship Can Expand Your Understanding
Select the right unpaid internship if you want to learn something meaningful and expand your understanding.
For example, working for a non-profit organization and contributing to your community is a great way to expose yourself to new ideas and understandings.
5. Some Unpaid Internships Offer Great Prestige
If you’re interning for a famous political candidate, or working with a big fashion house or media conglomerate, you know the kind of prestige the name brings you.
Many of these internships are unpaid, but they’re like diamond glaze on your resume, for the sheer value of being associated with those names.
6. Unpaid Internships Prove Your Dedication To Future Employers
It takes dedication to stick to an unpaid internship and commit yourself to learning what you need to succeed without any chance of compensation.
That’s real commitment, and employers value that kind of dedication and commitment.
7. You Get Plenty Of Opportunity To Build A Network
An unpaid internship actually makes you hungrier to leverage every possible advantage you can, to make up for the lack of compensation. So go all out and build a formidable set of contacts – co-workers, supervisors, managers, co-interns, third-party contacts.
Who knows which one of them will prove useful in the future?
8. You’ll Know Your Mind More Clearly
If you are not happy at your unpaid internship, you can evaluate the reasons and look for something else.
Unpaid internships are a great way to test the waters to see if you’re right for the industry, if your chosen field of work makes you happy and so on.
9. You Still Get A Foot In The Door
Not everyone can land a paid internship, but that doesn’t mean unpaid internships are without value. Showcase your skills and make sure they think you can’t be replaced.
Your employer might hire you when you graduate, or you might even get a great paid internship elsewhere.
10. Even Unpaid Internships Can Get You Recommendations
Unpaid internships are usually offered by non-profit organizations and small companies, which really need your labor.
If you perform really well, there’s every chance of getting an awesome recommendation from your employer.
11. The Work Experience Alone Is Worth It
Internships, paid or unpaid, offer work experience. Work experience teaches you how the world works, and people are more comfortable working with an experienced person rather than a fresher.
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