When to Take an Unpaid Internship

By, Rachel Martin

I have finally come to the realization that I have a good resume. I’ve worked hard and I am proud of what I’ve done. So, I totally agree with Christine in her post “Changing Fields” when she says, “celebrate your victories”. How you do that differs from person to person. Maybe you go out of a happy hour with friends or a nice dinner. For me, it was redoing my resume.

I was looking for a job in the interactive world and got some great hits and a job offer with my newly polished resume. The problem is it’s a little below me, but it’s exactly what I want to be doing. I was offered a 3-month UNPAID internship to learn how the website works and then after that term I would become a real employee.

During the interview she told me I had the position and wanted me to meet with a few other people who had gone through the internship and were now real employees. A newly graduated, tall boy walked into the room holding my resume. Someone 5 years younger and with not as much experience was about to interview me.

I had two options: be a total snob and talk about how qualified I am for this job or find out what his background was and how he fell into this job right out of college. I chose the latter. I realized that we just took different paths and he decided to go into websites immediately and I chose magazines.

Bottom line is, I’m totally stoked to start this internship even though I’m 28 years old. It feels right on so many levels and I know this internship will turn into something bigger. Wish me luck, I start August 23rd!

What was the last unpaid job you took? Was it worth it?

How old is too old to take an unpaid internship? I’m already committed to this job, so I won’t change my mind, but I’m very curious…

Rachel Martin

Rachel Martin is a magazine editor turned entrepreneur and owner of Gen-Yise. After moving to New York a few months after graduating it took several months of networking and interviews to finally land a dream job and not once did she have to sell her soul! At 28 she’s been through the networking, heartaches, fights with the landlords, tax mishaps, etc and is now creating a social networking site to help women navigate their twenties. Let’s face it there is no Real World 101 seminar in college. Gen-Yise is women helping women through their “What I wish I had known” video blogs. Join the women of Gen-Yise on Facebook: http://tiny.cc/amrnm

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