Reflect before you accept
One of the great things about Lasell is the emphasis on internships. Not only are students required to do at least one before graduation, but some programs require more, and many students complete more than one.
Currently, I am completing my second internship and am grateful for the opportunity to continue to learn and gain hands-on experience prior to graduation. My first internship taught me a lot about how to work with others, while my current internship is allowing me to enhance my content creation and writing skills.
While I and the university can tell you internships are beneficial, the topic of paid versus unpaid internships is not one frequently discussed.
Obviously, paid internships are great, but I feel the odds of securing one are slim. Because of that, students must accept unpaid internships and spend countless hours learning and completing projects without monetary compensation, only banking the tangible skills learned. For those students that must work a job to get through school, are student-athletes, or simply overload their schedule with classes and extracurriculars, finding time to dedicate to an internship can be hard, especially if it is unpaid and one of those responsibilities has to be left behind.
I have been fortunate enough to have internships that understand I have other responsibilities, but not every company will. It is drilled into students that without an internship, it will be difficult to get a job after college. But what about the part time job that is helping the student pay for college? If accepting an unpaid internship hinders the student from that job, how much is the internship helping?
While I also believe paid internships may be easier to secure after completing one, is it worth finishing an unpaid internship for a chance to secure a paid one?
Paid or unpaid, internships are valuable, but it is important to reflect on your personal situation to best choose what route is right for you. Lasell offers stipends for unpaid summer internships, and there are plenty of other resources that could help provide scholarships. Complete the internship, but be aware of the impact unpaid may create.