You’re a young, ambitious teen still in high school and trying to decide what path you would like to follow once you finish matric. You have been offered an opportunity to embark upon an internship in your free time, but there’s only one problem. The internship is unpaid. Do you accept? Or look for a better offer? Here’s why unpaid internships are still an incredible opportunity and why you should snap it up immediately.

The value of unpaid internships

Ultimately, unpaid internships are all about ‘getting your foot in the door’ and there are countless benefits to completing one:

  • You will be exposed to what the ‘working world’ is really like so you will know what to expect when you finally get a ‘real’ job.
  • You will have the chance to explore the industry in which you are hoping to work or start a business.
  • You will be taught a variety of new skills which will come in handy both now and in the future.
  • You will have something worthwhile to add to your CV, giving you the opportunity to impress potential employers or investors right off the bat.
  • You will meet new people and forge new relationships. This act of networking could lead to bigger opportunities being presented to you following matric.
  • By proving your work ethic and dedication now, you could secure a job for yourself at the company with greater ease when you leave school.

So, don’t let the disappointment of not earning an income just yet deter you from embracing an unpaid internship with open arms. There will be plenty of time to earn money. But, right now, you need to be focusing on paving the foundation for a successful, thriving career – and the earlier you start, the better! Good luck.