(Closed) Did you INTERN for FREE in your career field? Did it pay off eventually?

posted 6 years ago in Career
  • poll: Did you have an internship?
    Yes, I had a non-paying internship that offered me a position at the end of the term. : (23 votes)
    23 %
    Yes, I had a non-paying internship that did NOT offer me a position at the end of the term. : (43 votes)
    43 %
    Yes, I had a PAID internship and wouldn't settle for non-paying ones. : (17 votes)
    17 %
    No, I never interned because I did NOT want to work for FREE. : (6 votes)
    6 %
    Other - Please explain! :) : (10 votes)
    10 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    4929 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    I’m in Education, so I have a full semester of student teaching (as well as one semester of a student teaching prep). Both are obviously unpaid. I haven’t done it yet, because I start my prep semester in the fall, so I don’t know if I’ll get offered a job. It’s a required thing, so I have no choice.

    However, I would definitely choose to do it. Interning is great practice, and you’re more likely to end up hired when there is an opening than someone who’s just a resume on the desk. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    964 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    I did volunteering with a company, the company I volunteered with didn’t offer or I didn’t get a job with them however my volunteering got me a job with a different company in the same field. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    9053 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Yep, I did a four month internship and was offered a position that was in the field, but fairly clerical at the end of the term.  I’ve now been with the company for 9 years and been promoted 6 times.

    Post # 6
    Member
    42 posts
    Newbee

    I had a paid internship and to be honest would not give up a job with income for an unpaid one. They do have great networking opportunities, but that doesn’t mean they will have positions available when you finish.

    I had a job offer from one of my internships when I was done, but I turned it down to go to graduate school. I have a friend who tried to break into the fashion world with an unpaid internship (actually she spend a LOT of money commuting into NYC for this internship) but never got a job offer afterwards, and had to eventually quit because it was costing her too much to travel. She wound up giving up on fashion and taking a job in another field to pay the bills.

    Post # 7
    Member
    1278 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    Technically I did intern because I am a teacher and the requirement to graduate is a semester of student teaching  It was my last 12 credits  So yes it paid off  I was still able to work at a retail store on nights and weekends.

    Post # 8
    Member
    1937 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I wouldn’t take the position hoping or assuming you would get an offer, otherwise you are bound to be disappointed. I had a friend take an unpaid position for an entire year for a job she desperately wanted, but they weren’t hiring when her year long internship completed. But, she got amazing experience, she loved the job and that experience allowed her to get hired at another job immediately.

    If you are financially able, I would only take it because it’s a company you love and you would get great experience, not because you are hoping for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Chances are they hire a lot of unpaid interns, most of which will not translate until full-time positions. Do your best work and show them why they need you on their staff.

    Post # 9
    Member
    750 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    My last semester of nursing school, I did my final clinical position in a specific department of the hospital- they offered me a job before graduation. Still there! 🙂 

    Post # 10
    Member
    593 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    I did a semester long internship during my final semester at undergrad. It was required for my degree so I couldn’t really argue the unpaid thing. It was a GREAT experience and while they could not offer me a job at the end (I work in health and community outreach, funding is limited so they had no positions and have not since I did this internship 2 years ago, plus everyone in the office had degrees higher than undergrad) I do have 2 really great references from my supervisors. I have not applied for “career” positions yet because I went straight into grad school and have just worked part time positions but they def. helped me get into grad school and get the part-time job I was working the past year (I don’t work right now, I quit to focus on school and wedding). I know I will be able to use them when I start applying for careers and they know others all over the state so the networking will be a huge help.

    Post # 11
    Member
    1562 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I was just offered an unpaid internship but I turned it down.  The position was taking five filing cabinets of customer data and loading it into quickbooks.  Yes, I could do it. But the owner wanted it run through the internship office.  Which would then require a 10 page term paper, work samples, monthly reports to my advisor, and two credits at $500 each added to my bill.  And there would be no job offer at the end – the position was at a local print shop.  So it wasn’t worth the cost to me.  But if there was an internship at a CPA firm, I would have taken it.  Unfortunately all the CPA firms locally only hire undergrads for internships.

    Post # 12
    Member
    2162 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I guess student teaching counts as internship…b/c of the certifications I graduated with for my undergrad, I had to do 2 semesters doing 3-days a week of observations/part time student teaching, and 2 full semesters of 5 days a week, full time student teaching. It was all unpaid of course, and financially very difficult. No one here graduates and lands a full time teacher job right away, so I wasn’t given one, but I did start as a teacher assistant a few months later in the same school district. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    8595 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I had a paid internship my senior year and then they hired me on full time when I graduated. Still there 8 years later. In my area for graphic design it’s pretty unusual not to pay your interns.

    Post # 15
    Member
    134 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I had two non-paying internships in my field before eventually getting a job. I actually ended up employed by the company where I had my first non-paid internship, almost two years after the fact. I wasn’t offered a job at the time because a) there were no openings then, and b) I was still in school. In my field, at least, no one will take you seriously if you haven’t interned, and almost no studios pay their interns. While it definitely sucks to work and not be paid, the experience is worthwhile as long as the internship itself is informative and not just grunt work (ie. making coffee and taking out the trash). I say go for it unless they want you there 40+ hours a week with no definite internship end date. It would be super lame of them to work you like an employee and never pay you or hire you (but it does happen). Just make yourself indispensable and hopefully good things will come!

    Post # 16
    Member
    4929 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2018

    @KimmySumShuga:  You have to student teach before you can graduate, so you’re still in school when it happens. So really, you’re paying for the experience. There’s still another, fully certified teacher in the room to make sure you don’t do anything wrong. 

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