When there is no money attached to a job, it is hard to be enthusiastic about it. But internships have a lot attached to them that varsity students should be optimistic about. Unlike a job at a petrol station or retail store, internships are interesting and most of the time geared toward what YOU are interested in. We are usually only employed at those other places because we need cold hard cash. And while unpaid internships don’t give that opportunity, they are pleasing to the soul (and to the resumé). Here is a list of reasons why you should consider an unpaid internship, because experience can be more valuable than minimum wage.


1. I will say it again, experience is more valuable than a job that pays minimum wage. Doing something that you love and is relevant to your intended field of interest is appealing to your future employers. Thinking of the future is so important during these times when there is still time to gain experience. Time is valuable, and if you have the time to take an unpaid internship before you graduate, it would be a great opportunity for you to gain that credibility that is harder to gain once you are out of school and there aren’t as many chances to take unpaid internships. Because loan bills will be sent to us as soon as our diplomas are handed to us. But we don’t have to talk about that yet…

2. While a paid internship would be great because it does pay, think of how good it will feel to do something that you enjoy and want to take time out of your schedule to do while not getting paid. There is something that is selfless and fulfilling about volunteering, and that is what unpaid interns are doing, while getting rewards in return that are more valuable to your future. Because while there may be no current benefits, there will definitely be future benefits.

3. Gain skills that are relevant to what you love doing. There are tons of opportunities through universities and the areas around them that offer internships that are specifically targeted at students of particular majors. There may be an opportunity for biology majors to do lab work, or an editorial job for English majors. The possibilities are honestly endless, and finding out where these opportunities are comes through networking. Talk to your professors and advisers. They know people who want a student like you to be their intern.

4. Learn how to work in a professional setting, without the pressure of being fired because you are being paid. Depending on who you are working for, unpaid internships don’t carry the weight and pressure of being a paid intern. If anything, the employers will be thankful that you are volunteering your time to work for them. Think of flexible hours, easy going co-workers, and enjoying going to work. Work should be fun, and this could be a way of learning to love the work without the money.

There has some controversy about unpaid interns, but think that there is a lot of positive things that one can take from them, even though there is no pay. You can make the call, based on your financial need and your desire for experience. But it’s something to definitely consider, while we have the time during these varsity years to do something that is beneficial to others and our futures.