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

posted 7 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 # 47
    Member
    2278 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I’ve done unpaid (human services related) internships for both experience while in Undergrad as well (vocational counseling related) internships as for part of my necesary program requirements while in Graduate school. All of my internships have been unpaid, but the experience has been invaluable.

    Post # 48
    Member
    1669 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Church

    I did have it when I was in my first career – teaching. It was very different than actually teaching. I would have liked to have interned while in college for my second career but they opted to go with a co-op (paid) for the entire semester and that was a flop (only three positions for thirteen people – me included – so I didn’t get to do that). That being said, once I graduated I really had bills to pay so could not afford to work for free (or volunteer as some firms called it). However, I still managed to find a position which I am very happy in after applying and interviewing for eight months solid after graduating. My experience in unrelated fields helped (I am a law clerk and have experience as an admin assistant, educator and graduated in the top five of my program). If I had not had the experience that I had prior to my career and the marks I most likely would not be in the position I am in. I would say go for it because your field is very hard to get in and if you have zero related experience then it will be so hard.

    Post # 49
    Member
    191 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I did several unpaid internships while I was in college to get experience and figure out what I wanted to do in terms of a career.  It was a great way to start my resume and helped me figure out my path – go for it!

    Post # 50
    Member
    191 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I did several unpaid internships while I was in college to get experience and figure out what I wanted to do in terms of a career.  It was a great way to start my resume and helped me figure out my path – go for it!

    Post # 51
    Member
    930 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    During undergrad I did three paid internships in my field, and I’m very glad I did because I wouldn’t have gotten my job right out of college without them.  Now to finish my master’s degree I need an internship, and I will be doing that unpaid, but since it is to actually finish my degree it is worth it.

    If you can financially handle an unpaid internship, go for it!  But if it will put you into a financial issue, really think it over.  Good luck! 

    Post # 52
    Member
    328 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    When I was senior in college, I volunteered at a pregnancy center and at a women’s shelter (psychology major). I stayed with the pregnancy center for a while because I was starting my grad school applications and wanted to have more experience to go on my curriculum vita. My supervisor from the pregnancy center actually wrote me a letter of recommendation for my applications. I went to grad school for School Psychology (evaluating kids for learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, autism, ADHD, etc.). I had two years of school with each class having a coinciding practicum in which we had to get at least 50 hours of being in a school district getting experience (obviously all unpaid as it was part of the program). During the last semester during the 2nd year, we had to complete a minumin of a 300 hour practicum along side the couple of other 50 hour practicums we have to complete that semester….on top of attending class and all the work that comes with that. Then the 3rd year of grad school is a full school year of internship. In this field, it just depends on the school district if they will have a budget to pay you for the internship. I was offered a paid internship but ended up turning it down because I would have had to move and I would have been living in a scary area by myself for a month and half before I got married and my husband would move in with me…also meaning he would have had to quit his job for the move. In the end, I accepted a nonpaid internship with a school district closer to me and I loved it! They ended up hiring me and I start at the end of July! So in sum, I completed volunteer work to help my applications for grad school which worked out to my benefit. Then in grad school, I was required to complete nonpaid practicum as well as complete a school year long internship that could have been paid. I took a nonpaid and was hired by the district. Nonpaid internships have helped me get to where I wanted to be. 

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