Matt is studying engineering and wants to gain some real life experience.

Young adult man with hand on his chin thinking. He found a summer internship at a software engineering company he'd love to intern at, but it's unpaid.

Are you feeling conflicted about the benefit of taking an unpaid internship like Matt?

The Benefits

  • Internships provide valuable experience that can help you land that first job.

  • You can make connections at the company which could help you get a permanent job there in the future.

  • Sometimes, internships offer college credits that can be applied to your total hours you need to graduate.

Older man with gray hair and glasses sitting down. He is saying I know a few people.

The Drawbacks

  • The number one disadvantage of an unpaid internship is that you don't get paid.

  • It may cost you money to work there — i.e. transit fare, lunch money, etc.

  • You may be less valued than paid interns.

Older man with gray hair standing outside a building saying

Making A Decision

Before taking an unpaid internship, consider the following...

  • Is money an issue for you? Can you live on what you have?

  • Do you need to work part-time?

  • What's your schedule like? Will you be taking classes during the internship?

  • How interested and passionate are you about the internship?

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Quiz

Matt is offered a 3 month unpaid internship at a company he'd love to work at full-time someday. What should he do before deciding to take it?

Take Action

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This Byte has been authored by

MA

Melissa Arostegui

Instructional Designer