Paid or Unpaid: That is the Question?

Unpaid Internship

Image Credit: Blogging4Jobs

By Rachel Gluck, Director of Philanthropy

When I first accepted my summer internship in New York City the first question I was continuously asked was, “is it paid or unpaid?”

When they replied “no,” I received the standard pity look.

At first it was awkward, uncomfortable, and for a moment I started to second-guess my decision. However, a senior from PRSSA told me that if it feels like the right fit, then it probably is. I followed my instincts and boy am I happy with my decision.

For the past month I have been a Public Relations intern at TL Communications, a boutique PR agency with a focus in beauty, fashion and wellness. The friendships I have created with the other interns and employees are ones I never imagined having at an internship. The experience I am receiving is nothing what I expected… it is so much better.

To me, research, press releases, pitches and media lists were just definitions from a textbook before this summer. The trust I have received from the agency has allowed me to improve my creativity, writing and so much more.

Sure, earning a paycheck every week would be fabulous, but the experience I am receiving is one simple word: priceless.

For all you interns out there who may not be getting paid and/or not loving their summer internship, I have one piece of advice for you: stick it out. Do not give up. Not every day is going to be great and there will be frustration but that comes with the territory.

I dare you to look at the pros, rather than the cons. No experience is bad experience. It is just another opportunity leading you to the right path. Who knows where the connections you make now will bring you in the future.

So, for anyone out there saying it is ridiculous to have an unpaid internship. I beg to differ. Spend a day in my shoes. I surely do not regret my decision.

Best of luck to all PR interns out there!

One thought on “Paid or Unpaid: That is the Question?

  1. I’m glad that turned out for you! Sometimes experience is worth more than pay as it can lead to a better job. I also chose experience without pay at that crossroads.

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