By Sarai Cruz It is officially summer-internship-searching time and in the communications field, unpaid internships are the norm. They are easier to find compared to paid internships, but don’t let the lack of monetary compensation deter you from learning all that you can from a really great internship. Last summer, I was the intern for The Riviere Agency, a New York and Miami based fashion and beauty integrated marketing agency. The internship was unpaid, but I don’t regret it.
Image source: http://beauty4abargain.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/experiencing-miamis-swim-week-as-an-intern/
Yes, it was hard to work without getting paid but I survived those eight weeks. First, I saved money beforehand. I knew that finding a summer job while doing an internship was going to be really hard, so thankfully I had saved enough money during the school year to cover expenses. Secondly, I picked an internship in a location that wouldn’t create excessive cost. My internship took place in my hometown of Miami, which meant I didn’t need to worry about housing and transportation.
Most importantly, I understood that monetary compensation isn’t everything. For example, I was able to work during Mercedes Benz Swim Week, which meant lots of swag bags and free samples. Plus, experience and knowledge are more valuable than money. I am so thankful my boss made sure I was able to absorb as much as I could, from writing a media alert to producing a television segment. She understood that I was more than someone she could ask to go to Starbucks and grab her latte.
So as you send in your applications and resumes for those summer internships, remember to do your research and don’t let the paid or unpaid label deter you from it. As the debate whether employers should offer unpaid internship to college students heats up, keep these tips in mind.