How Useful Are Unpaid Internships


While examining how worthwhile internships are, I wanted to focus specifically on unpaid internships. I found an article from last summer in the Wall Street Journal that focused on unpaid internships. The article discussed a 2012 survey from the National Association of Colleges and employers, which found that students chances of getting a job are better if they are getting paid for their work. The study revealed that 60% of 2012 graduates who worked a paid internship got at least one job offer, while just 37% of those in unpaid positions got any offers. The article also reported that Intern Bridge, a recruiting research and consulting firm, found that more than half of internships reported for its 2011 Internship Salary Report were unpaid.

These reports suggest that unpaid internships aren’t worth the effort. I agree that unpaid internships can be a hassle. Although interning can provide students with hands-on experience, they also can be time consuming. Many students can’t afford to intern full time without any compensation. I was fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that was flexible. My internship didn’t require me to go into the office and I was still able to work part-time. However, not everyone is fortunate enough to have an unpaid internship that allows them to still work and bring in an income.

I want to explore how students are able to survive while working an unpaid internship. Do they work other jobs outside of their internship? Do they rely on their parents? Do they find their internships to be worthwhile? Have they been able to find jobs after their internships?





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