You get supplemental benefits and/or earnings: Though most interns are not paid a full salary, there are many other forms of compensation that an intern can receive. Some internship opportunities provide a stipend, travel allowances, meal vouchers, corporate perks, and company discounts. Equally as important are the college credits that most internships offer. Even if you aren’t paid an hourly or annual salary, interns can earn credits towards a degree or money towards their living expenses. Either way, the priceless impact that an internship can have on your career is worth so much more.
You can experiment to see what fits you: The great thing about internships is that they can help you make up your mind about what career to pursue. This is why it is so important for students to intern early on in their college careers. After graduation, many entry-level professionals find themselves in careers that they don’t enjoy. However, if they had taken the time to intern while pursuing their degree, they may have realized early on that didn’t like the particular industry or profession. Internships allow you to experiment with different companies, roles, or industries to determine what interests you and what you’d rather avoid. Since most internships are for a short period of time, there’s no pressure to continue in a field that you dislike. If you’re in-between jobs or unsure about what’s next for your career, interning gives you the chance to try new roles until you find the one that’s just right for you.
Do you have any career advancement or job seeking issues you’d like addressed? E-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aisha Taylor (@realTAYLORmade) is co-owner and chief consultant at TAYLORmade Professional Career Consulting, a Web-based, full-service career consulting company committed to “equipping, preparing, and empowering today’s professional” globally. Check out her weekly insights on job-seeking and interviewing success every Friday on BlackEnterprise.com.