Unpaid internships still have value


When I think of the word internship, two words come to mind: paid or unpaid.

Most companies looking for interns understand college students’ desperate need to gain some work experience before graduation.

By that, companies are confident that future interns will be ready and willing to accept a job without pay. In my case, they were right.

I started looking into internships months before summer vacation. Being a journalism and public relations major, I turned to NewsRadio KFBK in Sacramento where I had some connections.

After a short interview and some name-dropping, I was expected to begin my summer in the newsroom in early June.

Regardless of the 180 hours I would be putting in without pay, I began my internship with an eager and open mind.

I assumed that an unpaid internship would have me doing odd jobs such as printing, copying and other things paid employees don’t like to do.

My assumptions were completely off target.

By the end of the summer I learned how to write for radio, record phone interviews for on-air sound bites and had two of my news stories broadcasted on the afternoon news.

Being an unpaid intern didn’t discourage me from doing my best. In fact, it gave me more motivation to prove to my supervisor that I am worth hiring after graduation.

Sure, a paycheck would’ve been nice every once in a while. But the experience I gained, the skills I learned and the bonds I formed are priceless.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at [email protected] or @janeca12 on Twitter.