Benefits of an Unpaid Internship
No one likes to work for free, but sometimes it's the only option. Taking a chance on this option can lead you to the career of your dreams. Lack of experience on your resume may keep you from getting a response back from an employer you want to work for because you don't meet their expectations, but these expectations can be unrealistic at times. So, why not put some experience on that resume? Even if it is unpaid, the benefits you can get from it will only help you.
The valuable experience you gain with any internship will always be worth it. It makes you more marketable to future employers. Slowly but surely, you can build your resume with real-world experiences through these internships. It shows that you have specific skills that you can implement into an entry-level job. It is important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere, which is not always at the top.
Networking is an excellent way to start getting your foot in the industry's door that interests you. The personal connections you can make with people can go far beyond just this one internship. You find people who have the same goals and desires as you. Attending events or calls by the company you intern at is an excellent opportunity to meet future coworkers/friends. Establishing these relationships during your internship can result in good word of mouth and help you with references when applying for full-time positions.
When you intern, you get to gain real-world experience that you wouldn't get in the classroom. You gain some professionalism. It will help you learn how to conduct yourself in a workplace setting. You will develop networking and work etiquette techniques that make it seem a lot less intimidating. And what better way to see if you like a specific industry? Before hopping straight into a new career, you get to do all the internships you want to "test the waters" before committing yourself fully. Some might not be a good fit, and that's okay. Just remember that one internship won't define an entire professional field, which is where these unpaid internships can come in. Don't let the fact that an internship is unpaid discourage you. You never know, that internship could turn into a real job!
Let's face it, going into the real world can be scary. There will be a lot of failure at first, but this is where you will start to gain the confidence boost you need to keep going. Succeeding in the internship world, especially while still in college, will help you achieve the confidence you need to prepare for your next step. Once you see yourself having success outside of your comfort zone, you can become unstoppable and reach new highs you never thought you'd obtain. Let an internship be the start of it all.
Once you reach the end of your internship, you will feel accomplished and pat yourself on the back because you succeeded, even without pay. You worked hard because you know what you want in life and understood what it would take to get there. You can be proud that you are not going to let anything stand in the way.
Author: Kristin Scott