Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
samantha gades BlIhVfXbi9s unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
samantha gades BlIhVfXbi9s unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
/ Unsplash

To Take or Not to Take the Unpaid Internship?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCD chapter.

If you’re an outgoing senior like myself, you know just how exhausting the past few months have been. Not only are there deadlines, exams, and assignments to take care of, but applying for jobs and internships has become a part of our daily routine. I have applied to a countless number of positions over the past few months, and have edited my resume and cover letter well over twenty times. It has driven me to insanity in some moments, worried about every little punctuation mark and word I choose in my application. The pressure to be the perfect applicant has led me to be much more stressed than I need to be this Spring Quarter.


The decisions I make now will determine how the next year will look for me, and I want to choose the right one. Unfortunately, not all internships are alike. There are the glamorous offers that come in with good pay and a cool office, and those with the one word we dread to see on a profile: unpaid.


I know this dilemma all too well, but have found that the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies here. Some of the most prestigious companies such as Walt Disney or Sony Entertainment offer unpaid entry level positions. Have an open mind during interviews, as they may be able to offer something more valuable. If the experience seems rewarding and you feel the company will most likely hire you after the internship is over, I’d say go for it – full speed ahead. But, if it’s a long-shot or you just can’t see yourself with them a year from now, you have every right to turn it down and wait for something better. The thought of declining a job offer because you are “waiting for the right one” may not seem like the smartest decision, but trust me, in the long-term it will be the best one you make.


I’ve come to realize over these past few weeks that everything does eventually fall into place. Enjoying these last few months at UC Davis is so much more important. So for now, I’m focusing on Picnic Day, Whole Earth Festival, and Graduation Day. What I won’t be doing is pulling my hair out searching for the perfect job, and I suggest you don’t either. Take everything in and be open to whatever comes your way – yes, even an unpaid internship.


Thumbnail courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Images do not belong to Her Campus UCD or the author.

Bridget is a second year student at UC Davis with a passion for fashion and writing. She is involved in the Student Fashion Association and hopes that her love for fashion shows through her blog and #OOTD posts. :) She is also a diehard San Francisco Giants fan and enjoys watching baseball, basketball, and football in her free time.
Kirsten is an English and Communications double major and Professional Writing minor at UC Davis. She enjoys drinking tea, rereading Bridget Jones's Diary, and making Harry Potter references in casual conversation. She loves untranslatable words, Shakespearean insults, and Helen Mirren. After graduation, she hopes to find a job that makes her happy and own an extensive mug collection.