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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

May 1, 2010

Internship Negatives?

CC License Attribution: Astragony
Of course, there is a potential downside to internships. Presently, many of the available postings are unpaid. Companies find that stiff competition between college students and recent grads makes it a “seller’s market”.  The decline in availability of paid internships is evidence of this.

In addition to the possibility of upaid work for part of your school year, here are a few other negatives to consider when making your decision:

  1. Workload:  There’s a slim possibility that an unscrupulous employer will take advantage of your technical skills and give you tons of labor intensive projects, while you get none of the recognition. A great way to screen out this sort of employer is to get a clear idea of the scope of work and hours expected of the intern during your initial interview. Ask questions during the interview!
  2. Uninspiring Projects: Although this is rare, a few people read the title "Intern" as a catch-all position that encompasses coffee maker, copy collator, errand runner, and grunt-work doer.
  3. Expenses:  Finally, you may end up spending a bit out-of-pocket to gain valuable experience. Is this a paid internship? If not, will you have to pay for room, board and travel expenses after accepting the position? Does the company offer mileage reimbursement? Find out!

Learn more about the up-side of participating in an internship.

As you weigh your options, remember that the ultimate goal is to land an decent job, in your field, with a competitive salary and a level of job satisfaction. Internships offer you real work experience that is hard to get once you leave school.

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