5 Reasons Why I Will Take An Unpaid Internship
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5 Reasons Why I Will Take An Unpaid Internship

Doing the internship is not about the money.

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5 Reasons Why I Will Take An Unpaid Internship
Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros

Are you willing to work as an unpaid intern? I am willing to do an unpaid internship. Honestly, I am, currently, one of those unpaid interns. One of those interns who is struggling, but surviving, to make ends meet. I'm an intern for a campus ministry, the Wesley Foundation, at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Even with knowing the pros and cons, taking the internship was not a hard decision for me. I knew with all my heart that it was the path I wanted to take. Here are the reasons for my decision.

1. It Humbles Me

The biggest difference between an unpaid internship and a paid internship is the money. Money matters to some people. For others, it is not about the money. If you're from the South, then it ain't about the money. Working for free is a humbling experience. It shows that you are willing to put your needs to the side. I get that not everyone has the financial capability. You have bills to pay, student loans to pay off, and other necessities to put your money towards. An unpaid internship is just not your cup of tea. What if the company that you want to intern for is not hiring? What if an unpaid internship is the only option because you have to do one for college credit? What if the organization does not have the financial stability to pay its interns? Seeing an organization grow and become more efficient makes me happy. I agree that getting paid is a blessing. I could have gotten a paid job. However, I am willing to perform the same work, put in the same amount of hours, and serve with the organization without any payment.

2. It's A Résumé Builder

Building up your résumé should be a priority for college students. Your résumé defines you and showcases your accomplishments. A résumé is your employer's first impression of you. We all know that you can never get a second chance to make a first impression. Having an internship on your résumé lets employers know that you have some type of experience. I don't think anyone wants to be seen as unqualified for a job. Having an unpaid internship lets the employers know that you are dedicated to work. Be proud of your résumé, and give yourself a pat on the back for working hard. Just like a paid internship, an unpaid internship adds spice to your résumé.

3. It Helps Build Connections

Making connections is important, too. You have to find a way to get your foot in the door. Your résumé offers the first impressions, but your work ethics offer the everlasting impressions. After the internship, how will your boss or coworkers remember you? You never know how much of an impact you may make on your current boss or another boss. After serving for free, someone may bless you by hiring you as a real employee.

4. It's Preparation For Your Future Career

A big advantage of an unpaid internship is that it enables you to figure out what do you want to do with your life. Yes, you can contemplate life during a paid internship, but the paid internship involves added stress. An unpaid internship is less stressful to me because I feel unpaid interns have more flexibility with their life and control over their time. There are people who need more time to figure out what they want to do in life, after college, or after the internship. Before my internship with the ULM Wesley Foundation began, I often thought about going back to school to get my masters in an education field. Four months later, I realize getting my masters in an education field is not the best path for me. I researched other graduate school programs and decided to pursue a counseling program. By the time your internship is finished, you will have a better idea of which direction will be more suitable for you.

5. It Offers Opportunities To Work Where You're Passionate

If you make a commitment to do an unpaid internship, it is most likely in a field you are passionate about. You are so passionate that you are willing to work for free. Doing an internship can test to see how much you love working in that area. Would you really enjoy doing that job for the rest of your life? Maybe, you are highly passionate about that field, but you do not feel that you would enjoy working there. Everyone desires to work in area that he or she is passionate about. Passion gives reasons to do what you do and motivates you to keep doing what you are doing. For me, I am passionate about serving God, helping people form a better relationship with Jesus, and enhancing the college life. Working for a college campus ministry gives me to the opportunity to continue living the college lifestyle without attending college classes.

I love my job. I love my internship. It has been one of the greatest decisions during my college life. If I able to, then I would do the internship for another year. As stated earlier, a paid intern does the same work as an unpaid intern. The only difference is the money. If you are a paid intern, would you still be willing to take the job if you were not being paid?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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