Are College Credit Internships Without Pay Worthwhile?
An internship is an opportunity for something more than money. What counts is the experience and work ethic you learn from your time spent in this type of employment. These opportunities allow professionals of future generations to gain a broader perspective about life and what it is like to work in the real world.
But the nature of an unpaid internship verse a paid internship is a question for many students. From one side, all internships provide necessary experience that will be a massive advantage once you graduate and start looking for a job.
But a major drawback of working for a company as part of an internship without pay can lead to a feeling of being exploited for the work that you do. When your school or a company can offer college credit, it is up to you to figure out the value of that credit and whether the internship will reflect positively on your resume.
Granted, there are paid internships, too, and the money you get can be a considerable incentive, even if the opportunity isn’t the best. What you choose will largely depend on your immediate needs. If money is not a primary concern because you have financial support, then unpaid internships or college credit internships may yield the best outcomes. Finally, unpaid internships can become paid job opportunities later on after you prove your skills.
Study the list of both advantages and disadvantages of internships without pay given below and figure out for yourself if unpaid internships that worth it?
- The work experience that you will get out of these internships will be a strength after you graduate. Internships in art, media, entertainment, or other liberal arts fields may not be a great resource for paid internships, so be on the lookout for credit opportunities.
- Internships shouldn’t be looked at as a time of hardship, but as a time of opportunity. You might meet the right person at the right time, and that could be a huge turning point for your career.
- You learn about people and how to deal with them. In college, some students are somewhat all floating in the same boat as you, but out there at work when you interact with people coming from different places it builds your communication and interpersonal skills. You will be suprised by who you run into, from very serious people to jokesters who love math puns.
- Unpaid internships can be more troublesome if you don’t have any savings.
- The expense of commute can be hefty if the place of your gig is far from home. Spending money out of your own pocket for transportation is a huge con in unpaid internships. It’s like you are paying to get yourself more worked up.
- You are potentially completing valuable work for a company without a share of that. Some companies may exploit this to save money; decide if a good recommendation and experience on your resume is a good tradeoff.
- These kinds of opportunities can be incredibly competitive, so make sure you can stand out as the best candidate and are ready to do everything asked of you without complaint.
Some people treat college as a place to start building their future. They look for every opportunity to get ahead. If an internship at a credible and forward thinking business opens up, applying may provide unseen opportunities down the road. If they also offer college credit, and you can graduate earlier or take fewer classes to focus more time on other things, then the unpaid internship will probably be a great investment.
Make sure to take time to figure out what is the right path for you. But also know that you are still young, and choosing wrong doesn’t have to be the end of the world. If you are resourceful, you will find your way regardless of the decision you made today.