The first things that one thinks about when someone mentions working for free are either slavery or volunteer work. But there’s another type that’s very common for students, which are internships.
Most internships don’t pay well or don’t pay at all. As soon as summer rolls around, some students decide that they want to work a normal job, like a waitress or barista at some coffee shop or another. I decided that I wanted to work in the field I love, marketing.
Finding a full time paying job in the exact sector you want to is quite impossible to do as a student, and so I scoured Malta looking for an internship. And so, the question that always plagues the common intern and I is if it’s worth working for free.
Being an intern in an awesome company like PURE Concepts helped me figure out exactly what I want to do once I graduate and here I could get a better picture of the industry.
The marketing that I learned at school and the marketing strategies that are actually used are two completely different things, and so I knew that hands-on experience to build up my skill set was necessary.
I got the chance to see different sectors and jobs that are possible to do and I loved shadowing people who work at the company to learn the lingo and how to handle real-life work situations.
With competition in any sector for a good job, having an internship already under your belt sets you above your peers. It also helps the individual to make connections with people in the same or similar industries, which are essential when you start to work full time in your field.
For some students, internships pose more lows than highs. Sacrificing payment in return for experience is worth it in my case, as it puts a nice statement on anyone’s CV, but most people just can’t afford it.
Internships also promise that it could lead to a paying job, but in reality, in most cases, it doesn’t. Some internships also require you to do menial work all the time, which has nothing to do with the course that you are studying, and would just waste your time and talents.
Just make sure that who you’re working for respects you for your skills and talents as PURE Concepts has done for me, and not just use you as their coffee-running slave. Unpaid internships could be a great opportunity for any student, as it offers flexibility and a great overall experience. In my opinion, it all depends on the place that you are working at and the people who surround you.