Finding A Paid Summer Internship

As the application season for summer 2019 heats up, the team has been emailing a bunch of resources to help connect people with some great internships. The response has been overwhelming! Among the many questions we’ve been asked (and have answered!), payment remains a popular theme. To paraphrase those questions: “Just getting an internship would be so great, but is there a way I could get a paid internship?”

Short answer? Don’t get your hopes wayyyy up, but it is possible.

Who offers paid internships?

Paid internships are more common in certain fields and with specific types of organizations. Private companies, large corporations, law firms, and real estate firms tend to be more likely to offer paid internships. Those applying for internships with the government or in the nonprofit sector aren’t as lucky. That said, quite a few companies are becoming increasingly aware of the value of having educated, professional students intern with them, and in return they offer hourly wages or a stipend. The best way to find out is to start researching what’s on offer.

With great power pay comes great responsibility

Because you’re being compensated like a regular employee, a paid internship may be more demanding than the other variety. You may also be held to a higher standard than an intern working only for experience or school credit. This added challenge can make your internship experience even more valuable. You may be given tasks that are more demanding but also build a more robust skillset. And when it comes time to list that internship on your resume, your job description will be the richer for it.

Bonus: learning to budget your expenses and manage (possibly your first) paycheck!

The stakes are higher, all around

It’s no secret that most interns aspire to full-time positions within the organization. If you’re one of those people, it’s really good news when an employer is willing to pay you even before you’re officially on the payroll. To increase your chances of receiving an offer, use this opportunity to show them they’re getting their money’s worth in skills, loyalty, and professionalism. This one holds whether or not they pay you during your internship.

Flexibility is your friend

It’s simple math. Cast your net wider, look for opportunities beyond the local/regional, and you’re likely to find more options, paid and unpaid. But even if you do, don’t lose sight of the ultimate goal: an internship that contributes to your professional growth and development. Oh, and also, the cost of living (rent, food, travel) might just outweigh what you get paid. Consider this carefully before you accept or reject an offer.

The sooner you apply, the better your chances

Competition for internships is stiff. For paid internships, it’s off the charts. To give it your best shot, you’ll want to get an early start.

Which brings us to our best advice:

Get cracking

Here you go.