The Study Space Podcast

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The Pros and Cons of an Unpaid Internship

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For many students, internships are an integral part of the college experience, and, for many employers, internships are an integral part of an application. Although some are fortunate enough to get important experience as well as a paycheck, many find themselves as an unpaid intern and wondering if unpaid internships are worth their time and effort. In this episode of the Study Space Podcast, we examine the pros and cons of an unpaid internship, discuss our opinions on the matter, and recount our own experiences as interns.

A person explaining.

Things mentioned in this episode:

  • (9:26-10:12) David’s and Julian’s internship experiences
  • (10:12-16:04) Pros 1: Unpaid internships offer students unique experiences
  • (16:04-20:49) Cons 1: Lack of opportunities to reap the benefits of your labor
  • (20:52-28:27) Pros 2: Unpaid internships teach valuable skills for free
  • (28:27-34:38) Cons 2: Many students need money in order to live
  • (34:41-38:08) Pros 3: Increases supply of internships in a competitive market
  • (38:09-48:36) Cons 3: Unpaid internships take advantage of vulnerable students
  • (48:37-55:06) Pros 4: Working for a non-profit or start-up
  • (55:08-1:03:45) Cons 4: Cheap labor and legality of unpaid internships
  • (1:03:46-1:11:15) Pros and Cons 5: Legal unpaid internships typically focus on academic exercises
  • (1:11:15-1:17:04) David’s and Julian’s opinions on unpaid internships

Your hosts: David Chuong and Julian Vu

Music: “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar is licensed under a Creative Commons License.