Should You Intern? The Pros And Cons

“Every employer wants you to have experience but no one will give you the experience.” It’s a sentence many graduates will say and hear in the months following graduation. Often, the only answer to this conundrum is to pursue an internship.

When it comes to internships, however, there are pros and cons. While getting experience on your CV is always a good move, it can also be detrimental in other ways. When considering whether an internship is the right move for you, consider your options carefully.



Scared of “adulting”?

Graduates often feel as though they don’t know where to start when they’re thrown into the world of adulting. Even just a week at a company can make you realise a 9-5 job is manageable. You can handle the routine ─ you might even enjoy it! Interning will allow you to get a sense of the working environment.


Small amount of responsibility

Interning allows you to test out the working world and do so without a huge amount of responsibility. You’re supposed to not know what you’re doing and companies won’t be expecting grand things from you.

Considering this, don’t ever think yourself to be above small jobs. Even work such as filing or tidying will allow you to understand how an office works!


Interesting tasks

You may be given some really interesting tasks while interning; you may feel challenged and thrive under the pressure of it. Interns provide a good opportunity to make the most of whatever tasks are given to you.


Leave with a job

You could even leave an internship with a job! If you work hard ─ the most important part of interning ─ you could leave with a 9-5 and a salary. Interning can be really valuable and it’s important to realise that you’re likely to get something out of your time doing it.


You leave at the end of the experience

Interning is great because you go home once it ends! If you’re unsure about what career you’re after, internships can provide useful insight into whether a particular profession is for you. And you have no obligation to stay. Interning allows you to dip your toe into many different areas and this can only be a good thing!



The pay

You’re unlikely to be paid more than minimum wage for your time interning. If you can afford this ─ whether that be for one internship or many ─ then go for it! If you can’t afford to intern then it is, of course, a more difficult situation to commit to.

The Balance offers ideas to help you when you’re taking an internship you can’t afford.


Time consuming

Once again, hard work is important and putting in the graft should never be undervalued. Interning is time consuming. It can eat up your holiday if you’re already a student.

Not only that, but grads often feel like they need an abundance of interning to fill up their CV. It can feel impossible to fit in, let alone keep up with.


An unrealistic experience

An internship may not last long enough to enable you to get a real feel of either a profession or a company. As well as this, it’s unlikely interns will carry out tasks that would be representative of a job title they would apply for. Although small tasks should never be resented, interning won’t always allow for post-graduates to really understand what’s part of a job role.

Ultimately, you need to weigh up your own personal pros and cons. Don’t dismiss internships as they provide a brilliant insight into the workplace and look awesome on your CV. All the same, it isn’t always manageable to take the time off of work and maybe you won’t receive the experience you’re after.


Kathryn─known as Kat even though she prefers Kath─studied English Language at Cardiff University and now wants to finally write that book she’s always been meaning to write. Check out her Twitter, Instagram and blog to delve into her mind further.

Inspiring Interns is an internship and graduate jobs agency.