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1 January, 1970

INTERNSHIP MYTHS

 

 

Internships. You’ve been told you need one. You’ve been it is a great way to get your foot in the door. You’ve been told it’s a great resumé builder. You’ve been told a lot of things about internships. Unfortunately, a lot of what you’ve been told is wrong. So, when deciding whether or not you should apply for an internship, it’s important to know some lesser known facts that’ll help you better evaluate the pros and cons of taking one.

 

               First and foremost, internships aren’t actually proven to help you land a job after graduation. As Jordan Weissman of The Atlantic writes, “For three years, the National Association of Colleges and Employers has asked graduating seniors if they've received a job offer and if they've ever had either a paid or unpaid internship. And for three years, it's reached the same conclusion: Unpaid internships don't seem to give college kids much of a leg up when it comes time to look for employment.” To be specific, hiring rates for those without internships on their resumé was 38.6%, and the hiring rate for those with an unpaid internship on their resumé was 39.5%. Rachel Burger from Forbes seems to agree. In an article she penned titled  “Why Your Unpaid Internship Makes You Less Employable,” Berger states “by no means will an unpaid internship guarantee students a career upon completion. In most sectors where unpaid internships abound, it’s because there simply aren’t enough jobs to go around.” And there in lies the problem, most unpaid internships are in struggling industries which don’t have the supply of jobs to match the demand from college educated up and comers.

Another fact about internships that is contrary to what you’ve been told is that they aren’t for everybody. After all, 46.5% of internships are unpaid. So, unless you have parents that can pay your way, or you go to school full-time, work full-time and do an unpaid internship all at once, your path to success is consummately more difficult. But don’t fret. As mentioned before, internships don’t really help graduates land jobs. Knowing this truth is critical if you have to support yourself through one because taking an unpaid internship just isn’t an option for a lot of kids unless it has major returns afterwards.

So are internships bad? Not at all. Just to be clear, this is not intended to demean, or belittle internships and opportunities. Because if education has taught us anything, it’s that we need more information to make a more informed decision. So do some extra research on internships and figure out if one is right for you. And if so, find out which one specifically.