The Career Doctor™

Dear Career Doctor:

I am in my 2nd year of an MBA program, looking for an internship for the spring semester. My question is: when a recruiter or contact asks if I want to be paid for the internship, what should I say? Also, since I will be looking for a full time job soon, should I mention this?

Neil H.

Dear Neil:

Most interns work for things other than money: practical work experience, positions that improve their resume and the possibility to get hired after graduation. Very few internships offer much, if any, pay.

So unless you have to get paid, I advise you to say that experience is more important than money. Discuss the pay after you are offerred the position. While many internships are unpaid, they may reimburse your expenses.

And yes, say that you are looking for an internship now, and will be looking for a permanent position in June. Many employers use internships as a trial period, others just use them as a source of free labor. To find out, ask how many interns are hired on as permanent employees.

However, the bottom line is: if the experience is going to look good on your resume, it doesn't matter whether you can get hired permanently or paid. A good internship is an investment in a career.

The Career Doctor



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