WANTED Interns! Is it worth the experience without getting paid?

August 17, 2011 | Ashley

Comments (6)


After graduating from university many students consider doing an internship before working in order to gain experience. It is a great idea since every employer requires experience before you begin the job, but many graduates ask them self – how can I have experience if I've been in school for the past few years? So internships do provide a great opportunity to gain experience especially if your field is competitive. Employers like to see when graduates have taken the initiative to dedicate time to gain experience in the field outside of the classroom – it is also an excellent thing to add to your resume. There are many opportunities to do internships for many fields in Toronto, all over Canada and internationally too. Actually according to a July article from the Globe and Mail's Life section, Canada and the USA are going through an “intern boom”.

The only this about internships is that they are usually unpaid, and if they are paid – it may be minimal. For students who have recently graduated this may not be ideal. Ross Perlin's new book Intern Nation: How to Earn Nothing and Learn Little in the Brave new Economy provides a critical analysis of unpaid internships. He explores the meaning of the word intern and discloses how many companies actually save a lot of money by hiring interns and may glamorize positions. He also discusses how in some parts of the world they are actually trying enforce legislation to protect interns.

InternnationThere is no double that internships do provide an excellent experience, allow you to network, build contacts and are a great thing to add to your resume. However, it is important to make sure your experience is truly going to be advantageous to you and isn't exploiting you. Make sure you do enough research on the company you would like to intern at. Also, if you are still in university consider doing internships between semesters - your university should be able to provide you with internship postings. Below are some books and websites which may help:

Vaultintern Internfiles

Some internship websites:

Federal Public Sector Youth Internship Program

Career Bridge: Internships for Internationally Qualified Professionals

Natural Resources Canada: Science & Technology Internship Program

Good Work Canada: Green Internships

CIDA'S International Youth Internship Program (IYIP)


Good luck!