There is some debate about the ethics of employing Interns. Is it fair of companies to ‘take advantage’ of people, just because they can? Does it discriminate against younger people from less wealthy families? Should there be at least Minimum Wage or Living Wage paid? If there was a need for a salary, would it reduce or even eliminate Internships?
To look at the issue from the other perspective, is an Internship valuable to the individual?
The CV of someone directly out of education will, in all probability, have limited work experience. An Internship is one way of acquiring a credible addition.
Perhaps, more importantly, it has the potential to be a brilliant time. Knowing what work is actually like and to experience the disciplines and creativity close up cannot be found outside of an organisation.
This is an opportunity to display what you say at, for example, an interview. You are committed, after all this was not remunerated, or if it was, at a low rate. You were there, you made contributions way I excess of the level expected, you were there on time and didn’t leave at the second of the end of the day; or did you?
Probably the best thing about starting something new is the rapid progress up the learning curve. You are being given the chance to absorb masses of learning. If you see this as exciting you will make the most of it. Remember to note all of the ‘extra’ you are taking in because it will help ‘sell’ you at the next interviews.
- May lead directly to a job
Sometimes, but definitely not always, the organisation will be adequately impressed with the Intern to offer substantive employment. Perhaps on a training scheme, but it is certainly a compliment and worth shouting about.
Knowing the company is an advantage, but do remember there are others and you may still like to look around and not just take the first offer made.