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Unpaid Internships: Stupid or Smart?

It’s always that time of the year.

Students are handed hundred of flyers and notices to attend college fairs and career fairs. They are invited to talk shows from other companies. And they are under immense pressure to get a job from a relevant field to their degree.

It’s hard enough to be a student, but it is harder to be the student trying to get into a reputable company. The tireless amount of time you spent studying for the perfect track record and the top GPA, all ends with an unpaid internship position.

This is not necessarily society’s fault. How we are paid is heavily dependent on what field we are majoring in. A Manufacturing engineering major may have to accept an unpaid position while working for a glass partition Kuala Lumpur Manufacturer. Meanwhile, a marketing major may just end up a higher-paying internship at an equally well-known insurance company.

But is the question of it being unpaid, as bad as it sounds? is it stupid? Don’t be surprised. An unpaid internship still comes with a lot of advantages. It may honestly become the best and smartest decision you have made for your future career.

Your internship is important for so many reasons. Unpaid internship positions are important as the paid ones.

Building A Network
Building long-lasting relationships with people are important. University does not teach us to value the relationships we earn and mend. Your unpaid workplace environment is where you make connections with people who will benefit you for life. Who knows? The intern working alongside you might be able to help you set up your own business in the future. Your supervisor might be able to give you constructive criticism that you can use in your real-life world experiences. Joining events that your company hosts and meeting up with company clients, you are open to a door full of opportunity and rewards.

Building Your Confidence And Self Esteem
Confidence is important. Whether you are working as an architect or a designer, whose much introversion is highly valued, your confidence matters. Confidence in your design and your work will help you get recognized. Confidence in your demeanor is truly an attractive quality. It is a testament to your courage to both succeed and fail. Of course, we will fail sometimes. But the confidence we build helps us stand back up again.

Value In Your Work
Free is not technically free. Just because we are not getting paid for our work, it does not make our work any less valuable and worthless. Unpaid internship positions help you polish up your work too. Paid or not, your work is important to building up the company. You are replaceable from a company standing point of view. But your work and your designs are not for free, and certainly not replaceable.

Professional Feedback and Improve
Your entire workplace is surrounded by people who had years of experience doing what you are starting out doing. Professional feedback can get you a long way when implementing what you learned in school. Theoretical knowledge is only useful when you can practice it in the real world. So practice it. Ask for Feedback. Polish it. And depending on how much you love your work, by the end of the internship, you might even have figured out a new career path or realize how much you loved doing what you did.

By no means, do I encourage people to continue the norm of unpaid internships? In this economy, students deserve a little money. A little reward or a boost from the company will go a long way towards motivating them. It can keep them upright and delighted to work. But on the other hand, unpaid internships are still very useful and valuable to students and even other employees. If you are starting up a new career path, internships are the way to go.

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