Benefits of Unpaid Internships

Paid or not, internships are great opportunities to learn more about the real world. You can shadow a professional, work part-time, or do research into a field and gain valuable experience. 

In today’s job market, particularly during COVID-19, finding an internship can be very tough. You find yourself scrolling through LinkedIn, Handshake, and other job sites without any luck. Don’t limit yourself to only paid internship opportunities; the unpaid internships can be just as beneficial, if not more, to your future career.

Doing well at your internship can lead to opportunities down the line, whether or not the internship is paid. If you do well, your boss could serve as a mentor and an advocate for you in the future when you are applying for other internships or jobs. 

Are unpaid internships worth it in the long run? The answer is YES! Here are a few reasons why you should be considering an unpaid internship to stack your resume:


Unpaid internships allow young professionals to gain experience in a particular industry where a paid opportunity might not be feasible. You will gain valuable experience working in this role and gain vast knowledge and a skill-set that you would not have otherwise. 

Class time is invaluable, but you will never learn experience in a classroom. You have to take a chance in the real world to understand first-hand the ins and outs of the industry that piques your interest. Internships are great for helping you understand what you like or dislike about a position, which can help you when deciding your future career.

This experience will allow you to build up a basic understanding and skill-set that will make you an attractive candidate for future positions. Your resume will be proof that you have put in the effort to learn!

Develop Professionalism

One aspect that is difficult to learn in your college classroom is professionalism. If your work experience is only in the classroom, it will be hard to adjust to the whirlwind of your first job. Internships allow you to develop professionalism and understand the etiquette of working in a job setting.

This will help you practice networking skills around the office, which is another key benefit from unpaid internships. Understanding how to interact with coworkers will be extremely useful for you, and you can better understand the atmosphere of the company as well. 


Working at an internship will allow you to build new relationships with your coworkers that are hopefully everlasting. These people can serve as connections in your professional network and can be your mentor or offer career advice. 

Networking is very handy for finding people who share the same interests and career goals as you, and they can be the difference between you getting a job or not in the future. Stay in touch with the company you intern at and keep them up-to-date on your life. They will appreciate you making the effort and I am sure would be happy to offer you guidance and help for any job-related questions you may have.

Receive Feedback

Internships are great opportunities for receiving feedback on what kind of employee, leader, and team member you are. Having the chance to work in the real world and making mistakes will give you a chance to receive professional advice from people who have worked in that job industry for a very long time. 

You will grow from the feedback you receive from your employer which will give you a leg up on the competition in the job-searching process. Having the knowledge and past experiences of making mistakes in the industry will make you an attractive candidate to recruiters.

Make Yourself Marketable

In an internship, you will get the chance to work first-hand on real-world projects that you could never do in a classroom setting. You will be able to make a positive impact on the company with your work and you have the chance to contribute greatly to the team. 

Future employers will be awed by the skills you gained. You will stand out immensely from the other candidates who have less experience than you or a less relevant skill set to the position.

Testing the Waters For Your Future Career

You’ll never know if you like something unless you give it a chance. The same logic applies to your job search. We all hope to have a career that is fulfilling and brings us joy, but you will never know if you like a specific field unless you test out the waters in an internship.

Internships are perfect for giving you a glimpse into a field. You can see daily life in that job and see if that is something you want to do after graduation. Trust your gut feeling on this, because it is a little easier to shift your career goals in college than post-grad. 

It Could Turn Into a Real Job

Unpaid internships can provide great opportunities post-graduation. Often, many companies offer internships that are un-paid to undergraduates but have many full-time, paid positions available after graduation. 

Interns are a viable option to fill a position, as they save companies time and money in the recruiting process. They wouldn’t have to train an intern about the company and the work process as they would with an external candidate. 

Also, putting an unpaid internship on your resume shows employers that you are willing to work hard and produce successful results no matter what the long-term opportunities of employment are. 

If an unpaid internship opportunity grabs your attention, don’t be afraid to do it! Unpaid internship opportunities are just as valuable of experience as paid internships. They allow you to strengthen your resume and professional toolkit. You will gain experience and marketability for jobs down the road.

Power Move Marketing Internship

Interested in interning with Power Move Marketing? We’re on the search for unpaid interns for Summer 2021! Apply on our website and we’ll be in contact with you. As an intern, you will learn to think outside the box with valuable work experience, work remotely on your own schedule, learn from award-winning founders, marketers, and entrepreneurs, and earn college credit and recommendation letters!



Author: Payton Hoffman