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How to Get Paid at an Unpaid Internship

How to Get Paid at an Unpaid Internship

Peter Vogt, MonsterTRAK Career Coach

Consider the Bank of Mom and Dad.

Your parents (or other relatives) might be willing to help you out financially, either by giving you money outright or loaning it to you, especially if they see the money as an investment that benefits both of you. From their perspective, the payoff usually means you won’t be living back under their roof someday, jobless and miserable.

Are You a Medical Marvel?

1. Which of the following was not included in the original Hippocratic Oath?

To always wash my hands between patients
To never attempt to induce an abortion
To never attempt to operate to remove kidney stones
To teach medicine to the sons of my teacher

Get Extra Financial Aid.

While you may not exactly like the idea of adding to what may be an already huge future debt load, getting extra financial aid so that you can take an unpaid internship is another possible option. If you conclude that the internship you want offers you a reasonable chance of gaining valuable experience, and perhaps even a future job, then getting extra financial aid may be a calculated risk worth taking. Talk the idea over with a financial aid advisor to learn about all of the potential pros and cons.

Get a Part-Time, Paying Job, or Another If You Already Have One.

The short-term impact of this approach can be, to say the least, exhausting. So proceed with caution. But again, if you conclude that the internship you want merits some sacrifice on your part, maybe an extra part-time job is worth the hours you won’t be able to devote to your schoolwork and social life.

An unpaid internship certainly isn’t the best work scenario you’ll ever pursue. But it can and often does lead to much bigger and better things: relevant work experience, important personal contacts in your chosen field and, often, a full-time, paying position with either the same organization or another one. So don’t let an internship’s lack of funding stop you, at least not without some research on your part. With just a little digging, you may well find a way to make that unpaid internship pay off after all — in more ways than one.

This article originally appeared on Monster Career Advice.

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