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The Perks of Paid and Unpaid Internships

Posted on May 08, 2019

The Perks of Paid and Unpaid Internships


It’s obviously ideal to secure a paid internship, but if you do come across an internship that excites you and is unpaid, don’t totally rule it out just yet. Below we note a few perks of both paid and unpaid internships as you begin your search. No matter which route you go, remember that the interview process and internship is a two-way exchange.


  • Monetary compensation is one obvious advantage to paid internships. However, some still pay a relatively low wage and interns may find themselves working a part-time job to supplement costs.
  • Generally, well-paid internships are with larger organizations and companies, so if you land one, it is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door, network and potentially line up another internship or full-time gig.
  • Paid internships are generally structured. You’ll most likely have a set schedule and tasks to complete before the end of your term.


  • Unpaid internships can sometimes have more flexibility than paid internships in regards to your schedule and amount of weekly/monthly hours. It can be flexible also in the sense that you may participate or request to join in on projects or tasks that provide a unique professional experience.
  • While there are rigorous and demanding internships that are unpaid (think fashion industry) the workload may be less depending on your schedule. This is ideal if you are looking for experience, but don’t want to commit full-time.
  • Despite there being an hourly wage or stipend, some organizations offer other incentives, such as transportation costs or lunch. If you receive an offer for an unpaid internship, feel free to inquire about alternative forms of pay, including these perks. Sometimes, the organization might have a small budget to accommodate this ask.
  • You are unlikely to receive an excess of tasks that are not related to your goals or particular field of study.
  • An unpaid internship can still count toward a required internship or practicum for your major
  • There are more unpaid internships available than paid ones

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