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Unpaid Internships: What HC Lasell Member Jade Thinks

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

As annoying as unpaid internships may be, there is a distinguished line of when it is okay to say yes to them and when it’s okay to say no to them too. This is my personal opinion, and others might not relate to it too much which is okay. Keep reading to find out what I think about unpaid internships.

Unpaid Internships: Saying Yes

In my experience, I have done two unpaid internships in my college career. Thankfully they were part-time and were remote. The tasks were also interesting to me and taught me a lot about the apparel and fashion industry. I was also able to uphold it while working another part-time job that would left me able to financially support myself. As a sophomore looking for my first internship, as much as I wanted to say no, I knew I needed the experience. By saying yes I got a great opportunity to work for a small business. By working that one internship, I was also able to land my second internship. 

This past summer, I came across another unpaid internship. As much as I wanted to say no again, I agreed to do it because it was from a well-known baby swimwear company and offered me the experience I wanted. The work was remote and flexible with my other part-time job which was great! I was able to manage the full-time internship and get the experience I had yearned for.

Unpaid Internships: Saying No

After doing two unpaid internships and coming into my fall senior semester, I knew I wanted to find a paid internship. As a full-time student, I have my school work as my main responsibility in order to get my degree. When I applied for a couple of internships that didn’t mention salary in their description, it was a bit difficult saying no during the interview. Although they sounded interesting, the amount of work that was required for them didn’t match the outcome of it being unpaid. I feel like my work effort should be compensated in a respectable salary wage. I don’t believe in working for free, especially when being expected to do large tasks and put in a large set of time. I know my worth and my work ethic and will continue to search to find the right internship for myself.

Again, this is my opinion and if you want to do an unpaid internship that’s great! Don’t be afraid to do an unpaid internship as your first internship. But also don’t be afraid to say no to unpaid internships too! Just like you know your worth in platonic and romantic relationships, you should know your worth in careers and internships too.

Jade Diaz

Lasell '23

Jade is a Senior at Lasell, majoring in Fashion Merchandising and Management. She adores figurative art, and enjoys being creative in any way possible. She is sneaker- obsessed and loves the world of fashion. One fun fact is that her dog Finn, is named after a Star Wars character named FN-2187.