19 Reasons Not To Do An Internship


An internship is a service whereby college students can gain experience on the industrial terrain of their course of study.

This is supposed to help them but practically and mentally. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to doing an internship as a student.

Internships can actually cost you money in some cases. When you take a management internship course for college credit, you typically pay the same tuition and fees for regular lecture classes.

Plus, not all internships are paid. While for-profit companies usually pay, nonprofits and some private companies don’t.

If the work experience they provide relates to your education, they are not required to pay for the work.

Even worse, you may find an internship that is more grunt work than a learning experience.

Here are some of the disadvantages of doing an internship as a college student:

1. Issue of Money

The most obvious disadvantage of doing an internship as a college student is that you don’t receive money while working.

Most of your colleagues and friends are earning money in their part-time jobs or paid internships, but you will end up working assiduously without any monetary incentives at the end of the day.

Fortunately for some students, they are offered something for their internship, but in the long run, it will be noticed that the amount earned is not enough to sustain them for the service they are offering.

Many interns work for no pay.

While some make a stipend each week or month, it is usually not enough to be considered a living wage.

Sometimes interns have enough time in their schedules to secure another, less time-consuming job to provide for themselves; however, many internships run from morning to night.

Prohibiting the intern from working an additional job and leaving him with little money to pay for room and board.

This is probably the biggest drawback for most people who consider an internship over employment.

In fact, many adults cannot afford to do an internship that doesn’t pay or may even cost money.

The United Nations, a competitive internship provider, doesn’t pay its interns.

While unpaid internships are legal for non-profit organizations, they may deter economically disadvantaged students from gaining valuable experience they otherwise need.

Federal regulations require internships at for-profit organizations to be paid unless the position meets the stringent criteria of a trainee position.

2. Legality of The Job

Many experts consider an internship as a college student illegal as many establishments use it to exploit talents at free cost.

Therefore, labor organizations of several countries have set some rules to differentiate between interns and workers. This distinction is key as they defend the student from being manipulated and give them the right to earn money whenever and wherever applicable.

Interns must learn about all this before they start their internship before they are abused.

3. Unfair Advantage of Work

Many companies in recent times are using new interns as input and are exploiting them to get their daily work done for free as a replacement for hiring new employees.

In this way, businesses get to save a lot of money or amounts on paying salaries and training those applicants while getting their job done.

This can be a disturbing situation for a student/intern who is not that financially buoyant as they could have otherwise pursued a part-time job and could have also made money for the work offered.

4. Narrowing of Opportunities

This point may be contradicting the previous point in a way, but individuals who have done unpaid internships have less chance of getting employed than their paid counterparts which can easily be called the staff.

Establishments generally prefer to employ a person who has done work where they are being paid as they consider them to be more serious and proficient in their task.

Rather, your condition might be just the same as someone who did not do any internship just because they don’t regard you as someone serious because you weren’t paid for the service rendered.

5. Fewer Working Rights

As a college student, since you are doing your internship, you are basically not technically an employee of the company.

This fact results in limited rights in your working life and can result in your discernment and provocation in your job, which is very worrying.

As an intern, you should be under the observance of your guide, but it can sometimes happen; you may not be given due significance as you are not earning nor accountable for work that will help the company.

6. Decreasing Your Chances of Employability

As stated in the previous point, an unpaid internship as a student can sometimes harm you, especially finding a job.

In fact, they can be said to be no way better than someone who has no experience.

According to the investigation done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), out of all students who took internship only about 63.1% of them got placed in contrast to 37% of those students who did an unpaid internship which is very much comparable to the placement data of those students who never did any internship.

7. Lower Income in Future

If the statistics are believed, candidates who undertook paid internships have a better salary package than the unpaid ones during their internship.

In fact, in some cases, the salary packages of students who did not do any internship are more than those who did an unpaid internship.

According to NACE, the average salary median of paid ones was $51,930 while unpaid ones were $35,721, and those who never did any internship got an average pay of $37,087, which is more than unpaid ones.

8. Increasing Unemployment

The recent unemployment trend has made it very worse for the candidate to get a handsome salary job.

If companies continue to use unpaid interns as a way to get their task done while not employing new ones for a long term job, then it will not only overexploit the learners, but it will also affect the young graduates to grab a job, and thus it will weaken the economy of a country.

9. It Does Not Help Students to Improve Their Financial Situation

To make up for such huge student loans, many students take up a part-time job less burdened with financial pressure.

An unpaid internship means the student will be spending a lot of time working while not earning even a single penny.

This will only increase the load of the student to come up with some other means to pay his loans on due time, which can sometimes result in poor studies or a much-stressed life.

10. Backfiring on Companies

By not offering paid internships, companies miss a chance to interact with potential candidates and talented students who could have been a part of their company.

Paid internships attract the attention of lots of students. If companies cannot give such an offer, many students would not opt for it because they may not be interested in it, or it won’t be easy to sustain financially.

11. No Real Impact on The Organization

Since you will be doing an unpaid internship as a college student, you would be usually given a task or job that might not be directly related to work.

Also, your mentor or boss might not be interested in giving you a task that carries importance to the company.

So if you want to see the impact of your work in a real working situation, then you may consider opting for a paid internship or part-time job.

Although an unpaid internship may not give you money, even after that, many students go for it because it gives you the experience to work in real-world conditions and equip you with the latest skills and abilities that make you industry-ready.

12. Lack of Fulfillment

Internships are not always what they seem.

Some businesses lure an intern into the position with empty promises of bountiful learning opportunities and upward career movement.

Sometimes internships are merely in place to provide upper-level employees with workhorses who earnestly try to complete menial tasks.

You can avoid this nightmare by communicating with your superiors before arriving and agreeing upon goals or objectives to complete before the end of the internship.

13. Keep You From Entering the Workforce

Most internships are not proper jobs; many employers consider them a waste of time and won’t blink before choosing a candidate with real-world experience rather than an intern.

This may mean that whether you intern or not, you’ll still have quite a hard time getting your first proper job.

14. Competition

Organizations often receive far more applications than there are internships. This means getting an internship — even an unpaid one — can be competitive.

Expect to compete for your internship, and if you want one of the few well-paid ones, expect the competition to be fierce.

Of course, the competition may be fierce in a down economy, even for mediocre positions.

Competition can also be fierce for “real” jobs, so internship competition will likely be a valuable experience in selling yourself.

15. Requirements

The requirements for an internship may stretch far beyond your willingness to compete to work for free.

Internships often require a specific major, grade point average, and college level to be considered.

All the hoops involved can be exhausting, especially if you are busy attending college and trying to secure an internship at the same time.

16. Conflicts

While internships are designed to support students with an opportunity to build on their education and secure future jobs, many conflicts still arise.

Location can be a major factor — moving across the country or overseas for an internship is no easy feat.

Or, if you are lucky enough to find one locally, the organization may not be as flexible with its scheduling as first promised.

Or worse, the internship may cause you to lose more time from school than you are actually spending as an intern.

Some areas, such as the United Nations, even bar its interns from applying for jobs immediately following the internship period — a major downside.

17. High Expectations

You will know you are an intern when you see your paycheck, when you manage your time and when you interact with management.

However, others you interact with may not realize you are an intern or may not care.

Customers may complain that you do not work every day, or co-workers may expect you to perform at their levels.

The high expectations and low or non-existent pay may cause you to feel slightly disgruntled and affect your performance — and ultimately, your experience.

18. Menial Work

An internship that offers less experience than promised is a major disappointment.

When this is the case, interns often do not find this out until they have already committed to and even begun the internship.

Employers may abuse the purpose of an internship; instead of arranging an informative learning experience, they may dump unwanted or menial tasks on the intern, viewing her as unskilled or temporary help.

19. No Guarantees

There is virtually no way for an employer to guarantee that your internship will be a good experience for you.

Formal, well-planned internships are available, but part of the internship experience is learning what you like and don’t like in an employer and a job.

This may be all you get from an internship that doesn’t turn out to be what you expected.

Plus, you have no guarantee that the successful completion of a company’s internship program will lead to a full-time job offer.

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