Why Paid Internships Matter and How You Can Get One

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — For most students and recent grads, internships are a necessary part of the path to success. Although all internships that offer relevant experience are good, paid internships may set students apart from the rest of the herd. According to an InternMatch survey, students with paid internships are three times more likely to get job offers than those with unpaid internships.

Why money matters

If you’re paid during your internship, it shows a higher level of commitment on both sides, says Janet Elkin, CEO of Supplemental Health Care.

“Although many people do very worthwhile unpaid internships, if you are paid it shows the employer thought enough of your work that they wanted to compensate you,” Elkin says.

Additionally, hiring managers know companies attract better talent by “sweetening the pot” with money.

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“We are starting to see more paid internships, companies competing for the best and brightest by offering compensation,” she says. “If you have a paid internship on your resume, then it shows that perhaps you were a cut above, or at least you were competing at that level where you had a choice between paid and unpaid.”

Hiring managers generally feel a paid internship functions more like a “real job,” and therefore the candidate who has worked a paid internship is more comfortable with the demands of an effective workplace.

“When a candidate has been compensated for their work, there is greater accountability on behalf of both the employee and the employer,” she says. “The company has to ensure they’re getting the most for their money, so that intern is probably not just getting coffee all day. They think, ‘I am paying this person, so we’d better be getting something out of this.’”

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