Internships: free labor or amazing opportunities?

Is an internship an opportunity of a lifetime or free labor for the company? Being a recent grad, and having interned, for no pay, twice in my life, I want the world to know that I fully support unpaid internships. Even if it is free labor for the company, it’s free exposure and experience for the intern too.

This described me during my internship!

I can’t say my parents agree with my point of vew. They weren’t quite so thrilled that, when I graduated college, I’d begin a job where I wasn’t even getting paid – and then the question of whether or not I’d get hired on at the end? What was the point? they asked. It’s just the company looking to cut costs by hiring interns, who’ll do anything they’re asked, for free!

I think, the way my parents see it, you go to college to get a better job than if you hadn’t gone to college. The way I see it, is studying a craft for four (or five or six…) years, a craft you’re interested in, you want to hone and learn and expand, and an internship is an extension of this.

I learned so much at SMZ Advertising, and I’ll forever be glad I spent a summer not being paid to work there (but not PAYING either – that’s a major difference between internships and university!) I gained colleagues, industry know-how, strategy, artistic ideas and a really fun summer!

Check this out – I was part of the team that created this campaign! This is a prime example of why internships are fantastic for students to have!

My advice: to ANY student or aspiring career-person – internships are worth it and you won’t regret it! It’s a great use of your time and looks great putting on your resume!

This only applies if you’re not offered a paid job – in which case, disregard my entire post.


8 thoughts on “Internships: free labor or amazing opportunities?

  1. I have to agree. I know there’s been a bit of controversy about this. I saw an article in the NY Times about companies taking advantage of students and how it’s illegal to have an intern work for free if they’re doing actual work that an employee should be doing. I interned at a really good magazine and didn’t get paid, but I still support unpaid internships because there’s no way they’d have been able to afford that opportunity for as many of us that they did, and it really was an amazing opportunity and I learned so much.

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