Many industries don’t give young people too many chances to succeed. Trying to find their position within the given profession, students usually turn to internships in order to obtain initial experiences. But it doesn’t always come with the corresponding financial compensation.
However, even an unpaid internship can bring substantial benefits to talented candidates. Recent surveys proved that more than 80% of both interns and employers were satisfied with their internship programs. Though it seems difficult to accept the fact that you have to work for free, unpaid internships serve their purpose.
The Perks of Being an Intern
If you can find a paid internship, we advise you to join the program. But if have been offered the unpaid internship, don’t think that it’s not worth your time. Just like Patrick Fried, a talent acquisition manager at CareersBooster, once stated: “Internships give you an opportunity to work freely and passionately. It is your best chance to prove your talents and theoretical knowledge in practice.”
But let’s see what makes unpaid internships so beneficial for young people. Here’s the list of top 5 very practical reasons to consider it worthwhile.
1. Practical Experience
Students usually don’t realise how each type of practical work experience is valuable for their professional development. Even if you work a part-time job at the grocery store you’ll learn a few things: how to communicate with people or how the store functions internally.
The same logic applies to unpaid internships. However, it comes with one essential advantage – you get to learn new things from your own field of academic expertise. If you are fully devoted to the position, you will gain a lot of practical knowledge. Unpaid internships set you free from high expectations, while it gives you the opportunity to solve practical issues for the first time in your career.
2. Improve Resume
Unpaid internships are a good way to build your resume. If you already made solid college achievements, internships in your CV will definitely give you extra points in the eyes of potential employers. Recruiting young talent is always a bit tricky as organisations can’t really know what to expect based only on academic results.
Additionally, undergraduates who perform well during internships should always ask for referrals from their mentors. They can add it to their resumes and create an even better starting position when applying for the full-time job. HR professionals always appreciate this kind of proof that the person they would like to hire is trustworthy.
3. Better Chance to Get a Real Job
Don’t think that companies hire unpaid interns just to get some free workforce. It’s the other way around because organisations actually hope to find credible long-term employees. A study even revealed that young talents have a 70% chance to get a full-time job in the company that hired them as interns.
If you had doubts about unpaid internships until now, this information alone should be enough to change your opinion. Keep in mind that you are not invited to simply hang around and make small talk with colleagues. There are senior members of the team who probably analyse your work and knowledge, hoping to discover a reliable co-worker and offer a concrete job.
4. Starting Advantage
The fact that companies are glad to see unpaid internships in your resume is not the only benefit you get from it. At the same time, you will create a comparative advantage over peers who didn’t accumulate the same level of experience during college. Needless to say, this makes you a far more promising candidate than your colleagues.
It doesn’t only prove that you already have some knowledge and experience in the certain industry but it also shows that you are willing to work hard. Rest assured that this point is just as important as the things you learned.
As soon as you start your internship mandate, you get to meet many colleagues from different departments of the company. It gives you the possibility to expand the network of professional acquaintances and perhaps even find a real job using one of your newly-established connections.
The US labour officials announced that unemployment rate in this country is around 4.3%. It means that most positions are already occupied and you’ll need to give your best to acquire a full-time job. One of the things that can help you in that regard is the network of professional connections established through internships.
Working for free can hardly sound like the perfect scenario for young people. But if you don’t have a better option than to become an unpaid intern, rest assured that it will pay off. If you are willing to gain practical knowledge and learn from more experienced colleagues, make sure to seize the opportunity. You will not regret it.