In Defense Of Unpaid Internships
Politics and Activism

In Defense Of Unpaid Internships

They are worth it.

24
Pexels

College is a time of self-discovery. When I began college almost four years ago, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do as a career. I only knew three things: I excelled in English, I wholeheartedly believed in the truth and I enjoyed being nosy. My future career became apparent to me after I took the course Media 180: Introduction to Media Studies. I was fascinated by the journalism world and the way it influenced everyone, usually without their knowledge. Becoming a journalism major was the easiest decision I have made in college and there hasn’t been a day where I’ve regretted it.

After taking two years of journalism classes, the next step was applying all that I had learned in a real world setting. Many students begin looking for internships the summer after their junior year. Of course, there are those that start even earlier but unfortunately I wasn’t one of them. (I would definitely recommend it though.)

There are two different kind of internships: the ones that pay and the ones that don’t. Paid internships are held to a higher standard than unpaid ones. People have this mentality because to them the monetary value makes the internship legitimate. But this is flawed thinking. When I first began looking for editorial internships, I didn’t have any experience writing for a media outlet with an established message. I spent months perfecting my short resume and writing customized cover letters for both unpaid and paid internships.

I appreciated the negative and positive responses because I learned how to tweak my approach to internships. After almost giving up on scoring an internship, I was given a great opportunity to be a spring/summer editorial intern for College Candy, a lifestyle site for young women. Through the internship I learned how to properly write entertainment articles, I covered the latest news, created style galleries and even shared personal experiences that resonated with readers.

This internship was remote, which means I worked from home primarily or at school if I found the time. I worked several days a week in order to meet a minimum number of hours and when the summer rolled around, I worked daily. It’s a given that working for free can be less motivating but I was simply excited to receive the opportunity in the first place.

In total I wrote 100 articles in four months. The editors I worked with were amazing and helpful in all aspects. I read the news daily and scouted interesting stories to pitch. I learned about the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). By the end, I was able to turnover a complete article with a grabbing lead that incorporated social media, all within an hour. I wrote three to four articles a day during summer break. But most importantly, I was given feedback about my work from various editors.

Today, anyone can sit down and write a blog post. But it’s difficult to improve when there isn’t someone to point out your flaws and provide ways to fix them. As a journalist, it’s essential to have thick skin. Constructive criticism is a part of the job and feedback will be, for the most part, negative. I will be the first to admit that in my personal life I can take things to heart but it’s the complete opposite when I’m working. I want to continuously grow and I welcome comments from my editors.

I am grateful for having the chance to write for a great site like College Candy without any compensation. I earned valuable experience, improved my work ethic and made connections with the editors. I wasn’t overworked. I saw how a site came together from the back end. I became proficient in WordPress and my love for journalism only grew.

I highly encourage students to consider both unpaid and paid internships when they are first starting off. My unpaid editorial internship opened countless doors for me. The following semester I received multiple paid internship offers. Ultimately, I accepted a paid web editorial fall internship with an amazing site in Midtown. I’m sure that this wouldn’t have happened without having worked for College Candy first.

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

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments