How That Unpaid Internship Will Help You In The Long Run

by James Teague

A couple of weeks ago, while my viewing my Twitter timeline, I stumbled across some vital tweets from radio VJ Charlamagne Tha God, one of the hosts of The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1. He was tweeting his advice out to those trying to make their own come up in the work world. One tweet said, "New Cats have to realize often times it's Not about the check.

The true value is in the opportunity you are being presented." He went on to explain how people have to pay their dues before they have the right to earn their money. However, some Twitter followers didn’t agree with what Charlamagne was saying; in fact, they felt the opposite and were offended by the tweets.

Young adults in their early twenties are starting to move out of their parents’ homes and live on their own. When you're living on your own and trying to make income in order to survive, especially when juggling an internship, a job, and possibly school, all at once, things can become quite the mess. And dealing with an internship where some sort of compensation is not promised is something no young adult wants to deal with. However, would you rather just "earn that check," or take advantage of a great experience that can lead you to so much more? In the long run, the experience takes precedence over payment.

I dealt with this my last summer before starting my senior year in college. I interned for a local radio station in Baton Rouge. When I found out the head of the station didn't have enough money to make it a paid internship, I was very disappointed but decided to bite the bullet and take on the internship. It ended up being one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

You can actually learn a lot of invaluable knowledge during an unpaid internship. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that there’s more to life than just the almighty dollar. A lot of us in Generation-Y need to realize that: there’s more to life than money and riches.

Some fail to take advantage of opportunities of a lifetime simply because they want to be paid. Generation-Y needs to realize the value in unpaid internships, as they are often the best opportunities for us to learn the dos and don’ts of any industry. Do what is necessary in order to make it in the industry, and take whatever knowledge learned and use it for the next time you find yourself in a similar situation.

You may not earn the money that you feel you're entitled to, but you'll gain an experience of a lifetime. Plus, you can add it to your resume, which will better your chances in moving on up in your career. I mean, let's be serious. I would rather take a meaningful experience that could set me up in the long run, rather than take a mediocre paycheck.

Besides, in this day and age, being able to earn money legally outside of a 9 to 5 job is becoming easier for those of us in Gen-Y, as long as you put your mind to it. Money is floating all around us. It's everywhere we look. If you take the right steps, you'll find the money. Some of us need to start thinking about the long run, rather than about the present time.

Thinking in the long run can take you so far with your life and career. Some things you can put to the side and keep on hold. If you want success badly enough, you have the ability to get up, get out and get exactly what you want.

Photo via DingDang