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  • Aly Seidel-Thorn 1:56 pm on July 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: finances, funding an unpaid internship, , journailsm internship, , , , surviving an unpaid internship, unpaid internship   

    , Financially Surviving an Unpaid Internship 

    I am fortunate enough that I have two jobs this summer: my unpaid internship and a paying part-time job. While I might be drinking a little too much coffee, my part-time job allows me a little more financial stability. For those of us who are working the unpaid gauntlet, here are a few tips on surviving the summer.

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  • Amanda Osborn 2:39 pm on November 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , unpaid internship   

    Unpaid Internships: Are They Worth It? 

    I came across an article on NPR today titled “Unpaid Interns: Real World Work or Just Free Labor?” While the article is focused on unpaid internships in the film industry as a way to break into Hollywood, it made me think about my experiences as an unpaid intern.

    Prior to my current internship at Amnesty International, I was an intern at Voice of America. Both of these positions are unpaid, and I did not do either of these internships for credit (although I did have the option of doing so). Which leads to the following question: is it worth taking on unpaid internships?

    In general, I would say that yes, unpaid internships are worth it – but only up to a certain point. Internships are a great way to “test” what it would be like to work in a field professionally. Depending on what field or area you want to work in, sometimes an unpaid internship is the way to go, particularly if you don’t have that much previous work experience. An unpaid internship doesn’t necessarily mean your duties primarily consist of making copies and fetching coffee. Rather, it just means that, well, you aren’t getting paid. It doesn’t automatically mean that your employers will value your contributions to the office any less. I’ve had positive experiences as an unpaid intern at both Amnesty International and Voice of America. I’ve gained real-world experience and have had great relationships with my employers.

    However, unpaid internships are not always worth it in every circumstance. Sometimes, you just need to make ends meet, and working for free isn’t going to help pay rent or buy groceries. In that case, clearly an unpaid internship is not the best option. Other times, it might feel like you’ve paid your dues in the industry you’re pursuing. For example, an unpaid internship during senior year for a student who has held three previous internships might not be as enthused about an (unpaid) internship offer as a first-semester sophomore who’s never interned before.

    Like anything else in the (working) world, determining whether or not unpaid internships is best done on a case-by-case basis. But if you don’t feel like your contributions will be valued in the office, the majority of your duties will consist of administrative duties and not “actual” experience, or the costs of interning (time, transportation, etc) are too much without a paycheck, then maybe it’s a good idea to rethink the position of an unpaid intern.

  • Mary Robbins 12:27 am on July 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Environmental Protection Agency, , unpaid internship   

    The Benefits 

    My roommates think I’m crazy.

    I’m sure they already had their suspicions. But telling them in May that I was going to be working all summer from 9-5, five days a week for no pay really sealed the deal.

    My internship is certainly draining at times. Not least of all because this credit is the last requirement I need to graduate, which means I’m also in the process of finding a real job. You know, one with say, a salary.



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    • Marie Spaulding 4:46 pm on July 7, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Mary – hang in there and keep networking. I am sure you will land a good position! Marie

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