It is hard to believe that the fall semester is winding down and before you know it will time to start applying for spring and summer internships. Having an internship helps shape your experience and can seriously impact what you do in your career. Internships are a chance for students to break into their interested field to gain work experience and to see if it is the right fit. Unfortunately, sometimes students can get tricked into the wrong internship. Here are three things to look out for when applying:
1. The “Ballin’” Internship
If you have come across an internship that is highlighting how much money you could make, you might want to reconsider it. More than likely, the internship is commission based and probably doesn’t have a base salary, meaning you could actually make nothing. These internships usually come from companies that are not totally established and are looking to entice anyone to join while not really considering how to help interns gain valuable work experience.
2. The “Pay To Work” Internship
There are several internship programs that guarantee work placement with an added fee; few of them are actually legit. Does it even sound plausible to pay for employment? Sometimes these internships can be real granted if you are using work equipment or the company needs to pay off any charges that you might acquire as an extra employee. Just be cautious of this and do not pay anything until you know this is secure.
3. The “You’re Not Really Employed, But You’re Working” Internship
So, you finally land the internship – congrats! But, they don’t acknowledge you are an employee or give you the terms of employment. You have an estimate of how long you’ll be working for them, but don’t have a contract. If you don’t have a contract, you’re not legally employed. Without legal employment, you will not have proven record that you worked there and then no recommendation for a future employer. Along with a contract you should also receive documentation about pay, company policies, and rules. In order to have rights as an intern, you must have documentation of employment. Make sure you ask for it if it isn’t given to you.
Internships are a great way to get a step into what you want to pursue, just make sure you only follow through with positions that are not questionable. Take this time to learn what you can and get the most experience possible to add it to your resume so that you have the best chance of landing that job!