Internship Search Season Officially Begins

Spring break season is the official launch of serious internship searches.  Most agencies don’t actively begin considering paid summer internship needs until mid to late April.  

Some agencies have established intern hiring goals for the summer, while others use interns year around and don’t necessarily have slots specificially designated for the summer internships.  Due to the surplus of available talent, many agencies only hire college graduates, which limits opportunities for juniors and seniors who need to build their resumes with relevant internship experiences.  That fact has spurred the growth of unpaid internships as students need to gain experience and build their resumes.

I’m a strong believer in the internship experience, and I feel for-profit organizations should pay interns if they are contributing to the organization’s PR output.  Most major agencies pay their interns, but some have unpaid programs for students needing to fulfill college internship requirements.  If you are offered an unpaid internship, try to limit it to only part of your summer so you can seek out another internship or paying job.   

For students needing parental support during unpaid internships, you might want to read an earlier post on how to build a case for an unpaid internship.  Good luck.

One thought on “Internship Search Season Officially Begins

  1. I love that I am reading this post in one tab while the adjacent tab contains my “Sent Mail” layered with cover letters and attached resumes.

    Speaking from experience (as both a paid and unpaid intern), payment is gratifying (for obvious reasons), but I also feel compensation has the ability to make us interns feel important or needed.

    I do, however, believe that non-paid internships can be just as gratifying if they provide you with the opportunity to increase your portfolio; perhaps they “pay” in the long run–when that bit of donated work can aid you in landing a paid internship or job. Thus, the intangible value of those long, unpaid hours results in a papery tangible value.

    After you graduate the next step is to go out into the “real world” and make money—isn’t that what we’ve been told? I believe it is near vital for all agencies to pay interns who are college graduates if they want a quality intern:

    1) Competition among agencies for the best and the brightest: The elite post-grads are likely to have more than one internship offer, and many are now “on-their-own.” Hence, they are going to choose the paying offer.

    2) That “just-a-job”: While a quality intern would prefer not to settle for ‘just -a-job’ and opt for an internship she hopes will further her career, she likely feels she should be paid, partially because she is a college graduate (and that’s what is expected of her), but also because of that ‘just-a- [paying] job’ she could have.

    Well, the weather gets warmer and the search gets hotter. I really appreciate this blog post. It was a nice little break from my mailbox.

    Marissa Stabler
    Editor, Platform Online Magazine

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