INTERNSHIP - Do Interns get paid ?
On the whole no, but the value of an internship is priceless.
An internship is an opportunity for students to work for an employer for a fixed period of time ranging in most cases from 4 weeks to possibly as long as 12 months. In most cases the intern / student has set career goals that they are studying towards. Internships therefore offer students the opportunity to engage in the real world of work, helping them to put their skills and theoretical knowledge into practice. Although unpaid (because you will not be classed as an employee) this is an excellent introduction to what working life is like and gives a better understanding of what the actual job entails. You may not get paid for this opportunity but, if this is what you want to do as a career in the long term, what better way of trying it out first in a real life situation?
Also, not only will a work placement give you a fantastic opportunity to use your professional skills in a relevant working environment, but it will also help to develop your personal skills at the same time. If you keep an open mind, ask lots of questions and contribute as much as you can to the job in hand it will help you to succeed in the future. Learning something new on a daily basis means you will make constant improvement and encourage you to maintain that attitude throughout your working life. An internship enables you to develop an excellent working ethic which will make you more employable and ensure future success.
At the same time an internship also gives you an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, not to make them again and improve your efficiency during your time with that company. Working as an unpaid employee for a specific period of time you will learn a lot of new skills, how to work as a member of a team, meet deadlines and work out if this career is really for you.
Even if it is not, you can still learn a lot from other employees. There will always be other people who know more than you. Listen to them and learn from them, even those with a different point of view to your own. Speaking to people who already work in the type of job you would like to do will help you understand better what it's all about and what you need to do to achieve success. Their knowledge of the job and the environment they work in cannot be underestimated and as such the experience itself is priceless.
An internship enables a student to improve not only personal skills but it can also increase confidence in their chosen field of work. It is an opportunity to mature and grow from student to employee. You have to use your own initiative to figure out solutions to problems, become a good communicator as well as a good listener. It gives you the drive required to move forward and as your independence increases so do your employability prospects. On a professional level your CV will be enhanced if you are able to state that you have experience in a certain field of work and gained further related practical skills. It may well have been an unpaid placement but the knowledge you will have gained cannot be underestimated and always remember that employers often recruit from their interns.