When applying for unpaid internships, being apprehensive is always part of the deal. Will I get the experience I need? Will I be taken advantage of? Will I be able to afford not being paid?
Not all unpaid internships are bad! Quite often, unpaid internships help students gain the experience they need without any problems . Although students need to generate thorough research beforehand to ensure they are making the correct and informed internship choice.
A reader of ours shared their experience on completing unpaid internships which was quite pleasant. He did his research beforehand, and had a friend who had been with the same company previously thus, he applied as he knew what the internship would entail and how the company would treat their interns.
“A friend of mine got a job doing a bit of design work at a design company, I had applied to the internship from that company based on my friend’s review and research I had conducted online. I was happy with the internship, the people in the company were very nice and friendly and as it was unpaid, I was able to choose the times I would go and leave. It was a very pleasant experience and seven months later I was contacted by the same company to start casual paid work!”
They also have some advice they want to give to other students searching for internships;
“the best advice I can give is for someone to treat everything you do within an internship as work that can be put into your portfolio later on.”
Even if the internship is unpaid, you are able to use it to your advantage. As out reader mentioned, use the work you completed during your unpaid internship and add it to your portfolio for future employers.
They go on to say; “it is also worthwhile to get in touch with the employer upon near graduation and let them know that you are graduating soon and to keep yourself in mind for future job opportunities within the company.”.
Written by: Alysha