Friday, June 14, 2013

Internships - Are they worth the time?

Working as an "intern" can sometimes be a difference maker in the hiring process, but be careful before you jump in.  There are many factors to consider before accepting an internship position.  Here are a few:

  1. Will it be accepted by your program of study as credit?
    • Talk with your advisor if you are seeking academic credit for an internship. He or she will provide you with the accurate information on whether an intership is approved and will count towards your degree. 
    • Many internships will not count towards your degree, but will still be a nice bullet for your resume and may give you a path to a position with that company.
  2. Paid or unpaid?
    • Do your research here. Ask questions. It seems more employers are offering unpaid internships, but some are only seeking free labor.  Find out what makes this a true internship instead of a "volunteer" position.  An internship should benefit both parties.
    • While we all would like a paid position, sometimes a true unpaid internship can payoff in the end.  Getting hands on experience in your chosen profession will help you when seeking employment later.
Experience matters to employers.  If you have the chance to gain experience in your field through an internship, I would usually recommend doing it.  Whether you are paid or not, experience counts and can many times be the deciding factor on who gets hired and who does not.

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