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Rishi Patel
Noodle Expert Member

April 27, 2020

Amidst a struggling economy, paid internships are diminishing, but that doesn’t mean an unpaid internship is worthless.

We now enter a time where many college students may be preparing for or are actively seeking an elusive summer internship. Unfortunately, the country is in an unprecedented spot economically, which means that many internships may be cancelled, converted to online, or simply disappearing off job boards. This also means that many students may have to seek an unpaid internship as a means of simply landing one. Though that may seem unappealing, here are the pros to doing an internship unpaid:

Experience, Experience, Experience

Though it may deteriorate your motivation, an unpaid internship does pay you in experience. I’m sure you may have heard of that saying, but it’s still true. If you choose to complete an unpaid internship in your desired field of work after graduation, this is a great foundation to begin understanding that field more in-depth through hands-on experience.

You can learn the lingo, the software tools (if applicable), and even general skills such as organization, attention to detail, etc. You are putting yourself in position to succeed in the future. An unpaid internship could also serve as valuable experience to land a paid summer internship or post-grad internship. It’s advantageous in the sense that you are more experienced and knowledgeable in a certain field of work.

Solid Potential for Opportunities

Like mentioned before, an unpaid internship, as unattractive as it may be, puts you in solid position to seal something more rewarding. Aside from experience, you can decipher many other pros from completing one. A letter of recommendation from your colleague or boss in that unpaid role is one. Though bragging about yourself on resumes is amazing, getting a recommendation from another individual who has worked closely with you justifies your bragging and speaks volumes to your abilities.

In addition, meeting people who are in your field of work during an unpaid internship can lead to connections with other industry contacts who could prove helpful after graduation or further down the road when looking for opportunities.

Finally, it’s a resume booster. You are becoming more experienced, and you are more likely to get noticed by hiring managers if they see you have already completed an internship and possess the knowledge essential for a certain role.

The reality today is that many students may have to seek out unpaid internships this summer. Nevertheless, there are pros to doing one. Though it may seem unappealing to have an unpaid role, consider the many pros that could possibly come with it rather than the one large con. An unpaid internship is far from a waste of time, it’s a stepping stone into a brighter future which features those coveted green paper bills.

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