If you’re like me, as a college student, you’re always scrambling to make a few extra dollars. Although we quickly adapt to the dollar-menu lifestyle that is college living, we’re always looking for a way to live just a little more comfortably.
That’s why many students totally rule out the idea of working for free, under any circumstances.
Fact is, though, that many of the internships out there today are unpaid. So before you rule out an unpaid internship, here are three reasons why accepting one could be well worth laboring for free.
1. It’s great experience. This is the usual selling point for any internship, and with good reason. Interning in the industry you’re interested in working in will provide you with skills that are invaluable – and that can help give you an edge when you’re going for your first job after graduation. You’ll also get a first-hand idea of what a job in the industry of your choice is like, and whether or not it’s a good fit for you.
2. You’ll get to network. One of the great things about interning is that you get to meet a ton of new people, from other interns to the heads of major companies. The connections you make as an intern are super-important: Down the line, one of them may be able to clue you in to a job opening or serve as a professional reference.
3. You might even get a foot in the door. There are a huge number of people who are willing to compete for that extremely rare paid internship. By taking an unpaid internship, you’re showing an employer that money isn’t your main concern, but instead, the work you’ll be doing and the experience you’ll be getting. By showing dedication to the work itself rather than the benefits attached to it, you may have a greater chance at getting your foot in the door with that company.
The important thing to remember about any internship is that it’s your first step into the professional world. Making your mark is important, and there’s no better way to do that than taking your job seriously and giving it 100%. With an unpaid internship, there may not be a paycheck on the line, but your professional reputation is.
By Guest Blogger Angela Andaloro I PACE UNIVERSITY: Smart, ambitious, and committed to the creative life, with a list of personal and professional goals that would stretch from here to the moon and back. Currently a Social Media Marketing Intern in New York City.