Why You Should Grab That Unpaid Internship [Infographic]

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unpaid internships worth itIf you are just starting your career, how do you get a foot in the door for that first job?According to a new study by Millennial Branding and Experience Inc., the internship or any "real world" experience is the surest route, but positions are hard to get. That catch-22 is at the heart of the crisis of youth employment -- 9 out of 10 employers want to see one or two internships before graduation, yet half haven't hired one intern in the last six months. (The stats include unpaid internships.)

"I won't necessarily turn you away if you haven't done an internship," says Tiffany Peery, the program manager for virtual recruiting at Intel. "But then I'd hope to see that you went to a great school, and did well. But we really want to see real-world experience from our hires." Intel runs a robust internship program; it lasts three to six months, and pays on average $5,681 per month for technical interns, and $5,099 for general interns. And 65 percent of the program's participants are converted to full-time hires, according to Peery.

"Unless [program managers] tell us our interns weren't successful, we are going to hire them," Peery says.

What If The Internship Doesn't Lead To A Job?
Dan Schawbel, the managing partner of Millenial Branding, argues that just having internships on your resume will be impressive, showing ambition and resourcefulness. It doesn't necessarily work against you if the employer doesn't hire you at the end of the internship. Employers "are looking for the movers and shakers," says Schawbel, himself a former intern with seven companies, including Reebok and LoJack. "There are no guarantees anymore that internships lead to jobs. You have to fight."

Indeed, 3 out of 10 companies want to see entrepreneurial experience from their hires, according to the study, which was compiled from 225 U.S. companies by Millennial and Experience Inc.'s data pool of over 100,000 U.S. companies. "And when they are the type of person who is going to find a way to land the internship, paid or unpaid, they are going to succeed," Schawbel says.



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