When you Google “unpaid internships”, you get two kinds of answers. One encourages you to take advantage of every opportunity that pops up on your way, regardless if it’s paid or not. The other one orders you to never accept offers if you have to work for free.
Both of these recommendations are good. Why would you work for free if you could get paid? But what if you are not hired for any paid job because you don’t have experience? Would you sacrifice a few months to get a competitive advantage?
For many marketing students, the answer to this question must be yes. Marketing can’t be studied from books. You need to get practical experience before you can actually claim money for your work.
A requirement to have some practical experience before getting paid is not unique to marketing. This is common in other industries too. New writers hired to provide essay help online write their test orders for free because they are learning. As soon as the number of errors in their writing drops, they get fairly paid and are allowed to work with real clients.
That’s why you should at least consider an unpaid internship before you reject it. Some of them offer quite unique experiences that are worth your time.
Here are a few more facts on why you shouldn’t reject every unpaid internship if you want to build a career in marketing:
Just think of it: would you order something today without checking reviews first? No. Even if you buy an academic essay, you check the essay pro review first. And you are absolutely right: former clients give the best recommendations.
Reviews promote sales. Good reviews promote sales even better. When you create a resume, you also try to sell your skills. To do that, you need confirmation that you are actually a valuable asset. If you don’t have any experience to back that, unpaid internships must help.
Your references may fill the void with their recommendations. Mentors from unpaid internships can be an easy target.
If you are thinking about whether the skills you get from an unpaid internship are worth spending your time, the answer is yes. Of course, unless you have a similar paid offer. If you have time and don’t have anybody to pay for your work, you’d better earn some skills and recommendations rather than just sit and wait.
Some unpaid marketing internships are unique in terms of the knowledge they provide. Don’t miss them just because you can’t earn some cash.
When you are getting paid for an internship, you feel as if you are already employed. You don’t allow yourself to experiment, make mistakes, or ask questions because it feels as if you must know it all already.
Unpaid internships help you learn. This is a transition from a university to a workplace where you finally barter knowledge for real work. If you think of it, it’s the best solution for a marketing student if the goal is indeed to learn.
Unpaid internships in marketing do not impose any obligation on you. You can explore career options the best you can while feeling free in every way. Moreover, people mentoring you are usually more motivated to teach if they know that’s not part of the duties you are being paid for.
In other words, you can migrate from department to department and assist other people in their roles while collecting experience and not feeling obligated to demonstrate any results.
Do you know how paid internships became popular? After all, we all know stories about apprentices who assisted masters and were not paid while they were learning. Master’s craft and guidance were the largest “payment” they hoped for.
Knowledge and skills opened many doors. After years of education, they could start building their own “brand” and have apprentices themselves.
Internships started as unpaid involvements for students to get practical experience in addition to theoretical knowledge. Companies and organizations select the best students to onboard them and subsequently get them hired.
Paid internships were a response to capitalism and competition. Large businesses started fighting for talented students by offering them extra benefits. Yet, some organizations remained loyal to the idea that they offer high-level knowledge in exchange for students’ time and help.
Therefore, unpaid internships don’t mean they are not worthy. On the contrary, they may be offered by small creative agencies, marketing influencers, and other marketing entities who can indeed teach a great deal about marketing. Big sharks, however, may be looking to cut their expenses by inviting a student.
In this case, you lose both time and enthusiasm. Is the money worth it?
You need to read more about the company’s background and make a decision based on your interests. Money will decide many things in your life. But let yourself follow your heart and passion while you are a student. Gain knowledge when it’s offered openly.