Why You Should Grab That Unpaid Internship [Infographic]

unpaid internships worth itIf you are just starting your career, how do you get a foot in the door for that first job?According to a new study by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc., the internship or any "real world" experience is the surest route, but positions are hard to get. That catch-22 is at the heart of the crisis of youth employment -- 9 out of 10 employers want to see one or two internships before graduation, yet half haven't hired one intern in the last six months. (The stats include unpaid internships.)

"I won't necessarily turn you away if you haven't done an internship," says Tiffany Peery, the program manager for virtual recruiting at Intel. "But then I'd hope to see that you went to a great school, and did well. But we really want to see real-world experience from our hires." Intel runs a robust internship program; it lasts three to six months, and pays on average $5,681 per month for technical interns, and $5,099 for general interns. And 65 percent of the program's participants are converted to full-time hires, according to Peery.

"Unless [program managers] tell us our interns weren't successful, we are going to hire them," Peery says.

What If The Internship Doesn't Lead To A Job?
Dan Schawbel, the managing partner of Millenial Branding, argues that just having internships on your resume will be impressive, showing ambition and resourcefulness. It doesn't necessarily work against you if the employer doesn't hire you at the end of the internship. Employers "are looking for the movers and shakers," says Schawbel, himself a former intern with seven companies, including Reebok and LoJack. "There are no guarantees anymore that internships lead to jobs. You have to fight."

Indeed, 3 out of 10 companies want to see entrepreneurial experience from their hires, according to the study, which was compiled from 225 U.S. companies by Millennial and Experience Inc.'s data pool of over 100,000 U.S. companies. "And when they are the type of person who is going to find a way to land the internship, paid or unpaid, they are going to succeed," Schawbel says.

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If the internship is short like a month or two, I don't think it's such a bad idea to to an unpaid internship.. If the internship spans more than 3 months, then I think students should get paid.. at least an honorarium to compensate for the cost of living (transporation and food at least..?)

The experience you will get from working in a related field will definitely give you a leg up than flipping burgers at macD.. there's no doubt about it.. If you did not enjoy the internship, you now know why you didn't like it and try to avoid similar setting in the future, thus better experience next time. Even if the company doesn't hire you, now you have connection. If the boss liked you, maybe you can ask for some good reference letter when you are looking for a job in the futre. At least connection will get you somewhere.. I don't think flipping burger is gonna take you anywhere.. at least you can call the unpaid intership 'job related experience' and possibly get a higher starting salary when you graduate..

Another thing about unpaid (as well as paid) internship is to do research. Find people who interned there before.. Ask what their experience was like.. Did they learn anything? Was their someone you can ask questions at all times like a mentor?

I know there are some employers who are just looking for some freebies but don't let them give you bad impression of unpaid internship.. With good employers who knows what they are doing with interns, unpaid internship can give you the similar if not same experience as paid one..!

+ I personally believe that if intern's work will be used commercially to make profit (if intern designed UI for an app) they should be paid for that.. AT LEAST AN HONORARIUM!!

October 16 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The average monthly wage for a software-engineer intern at Facebook is $6,225, according to
One anonymous intern claimed to be taking home $8,000 a month, plus a tuition subsidy for college.

According to Quora.com, Facebook interns get a monthly baseline salary of $4,600, plus $400 multiplied by the number of college years they've completed. That means interns at Facebook who've finished their sophomore year are officially better compensated than summer analyst interns at Goldman Sachs, who take home $4,636 a month, according to Glassdoor.com.

if you do work for a company you should be payed for it . i dont know who payed for this artical but i guess it was cheeper then paying their interns . i have seen the argument that most interns are just doing light office work , so it ok not to pay them , but that says to me , they are not geting the skills they should be , and doing temp service work for free , its a no win situation , dont work for free

June 07 2012 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sorry to tell you, but ...Where there's a will, there's a way. I went to college full-time, did UNPAID internships in my field and worked nights to make the money. I know the financial need of a college student. I always had to work while I was in school. The experience and contacts that you gain from working (even without a paycheck) in your field far outweighs the benefits of taking an unrelated job for $10 an hour. Unless you're able to get something paid in your field, this is an excellent option. It also shows a future employer that you are willing to put in the work, take on the challenge and find a way to make things work. It's about your professional drive, personal character and motivation. Taking an unpaid opportunity and making it work shows so much about you to a future employer.

June 05 2012 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sean Tolbert

UNPAID! You have got to be kidding me! This article is B.S! How the hell can anyone afford to WASTE thier time doing something that they are likely to get paid at least $10.00 per hour somewhere else?!? NOT going to happen with most people, and I am most certainly not doing an unpaid anything, unless its community service.

June 01 2012 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First of all, many kids absolutely cannot afford to do unpaid internships. They are having a hard enough time trying to stay in college. That's the disconnect with some of these articles and the writers who offers up all of this sage advice. It's a double-edged sword because if the kids can't work on an unpaid job to gain experience and network, it is hard to get a foot in the door. On the other hand, most of these unpaid internships are occupied by little rich kids who already have a foot in the door via their family connections.

May 14 2012 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you are at a unpaid internship..How do you support your self...Do you have to get a night job to to make money....8 hrs at the unpaid job another 8 hours at the paid job..That's a hell of a long day...

May 14 2012 at 10:05 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

My son is doing an unpaid "work study" program through his high school in a gun shop. The education he is getting there is like nothing he could get at school. Not only is he learning about firearms,gun regulations and fish and game laws but he is making personal contact with law enforcement plus a host of very interesting individuals. He would not have had this opportunity if Charlie had to pay him,it just wouldn't happen. The contacts alone are invaluable for future resumes.

May 14 2012 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unpaid internships offer a totally unrealistic attitude towards work and professionalism. Getting a job serving burgers at a local diner is better than an unpaid internship since your labor is rewarded by pay--cause and effect! Putting all these freebee "jobs " on your resume downgrades YOU...and downgrades the jobs themselves. Don't do it!!

May 14 2012 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

don't do it. companies just want free labor year after year. you will not be hired. don't work for free.

May 14 2012 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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