8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Accepting an Internship

By Brittany Loeffler on June 27, 2018

If you’re reading this article you’ve probably been offered an internship position. However, just because you were offered an internship doesn’t mean that it is right for you. Academic advisors and working professionals highly recommend college students have at least one internship, but it should offer you valuable experience and relate to the field you would like to work in.

Before you accept an internship position, you should ask yourself these questions to make sure it is worth your time and will benefit you in the long run.

time for an internship

via Unsplash

Do I Have Time for an Internship?

An internship can range from 10 hours a week to 40 hours a week. It’s important to take a look at your schedule for the semester or summer and make sure you have time for the internship. If you are taking classes, it’s important for you to balance your homework and studying with your internship.

Keep in mind that you may have to commute to your internship, so make sure to plan for that when creating your class schedule. If you feel that you will be too overwhelmed taking on an internship, it probably isn’t the right one for you.

How Far is the Commute?

Where will you be interning? How far away from your school is it? If you have to commute to another city to get to your internship, think about how much time you’ll be dedicating to just the travel. If it’s a timely commute, will the experience be worth it?

You also have to think about how you will be getting to your internship. If taking public transportation or driving, you should consider how much it will cost to get back and forth.

Is This the Kind of Experience I’m Looking For?

There are too many stories where college students get an internship position but do menial tasks like getting coffee or filing paperwork. You want valuable, hands-on experience at your internship where you can learn about the industry and put yourself ahead of other job applicants when it comes time to graduate.

Talk to other people who have interned for the company before or read reviews online to help decide if this is the type of experience you are looking for in an internship.


via Unsplash

What Do I Expect to Get Out of an Internship?

People decide to have an internship for many different reasons. Sometimes it’s to receive a job offer after graduation. Sometimes it’s to make connections in the industry. Other times it’s simply to fill college requirements.

Think about what you expect to get out of an internship. If you feel that the internship that has been offered to you can fulfill your expectations, then it may be the right one for you.

What Is the Company Culture?

It’s important to like where you work, even if it’s just during a short internship. A great workplace and happy company culture will dramatically affect your overall happiness. You don’t want to dread going to your internship!

During your interview, make sure to ask what the company culture is like. Is it laid back? Is it demanding? Decide whether the company’s atmosphere fits your needs for an internship before accepting it.

Will I Receive College Credit?

Something else to consider before accepting an internship is if you will receive college credit for it. When you receive credit for an internship, it means you don’t have to take some classes because your internship will act as if you are taking a class. This is important when it comes to fitting the internship into your schedule and deciding if it is worth your time or not.


via Unsplash

Is it a Paid Internship?

Will you receive compensation for your internship? If so, how much? If you aren’t receiving college credit, then the next best thing is getting paid for your internship. That way you get something other than experience out of it.

Can I Afford an Unpaid Internship?

If your internship does not offer any compensation, it’s time to look at the old bank account and figure out if you can afford an unpaid internship. Calculate your travel expenses to and from the internship. Also look at any other bills you may have to pay. Do you have another source of income that you can rely on?

It’s okay if you do not accept an internship because it isn’t paid if the experience doesn’t outweigh the compensation. However, if you feel that the experience you will get is more valuable than getting paid, then the internship is probably right for you.

Accepting Your Internship

After asking yourself these questions, it’s time to determine if you should accept the internship position that was offered to you. You want to get the most valuable experience from the internship while ensuring that you can afford to do it with both your time and money. Remember, if this position isn’t right for you, one that is will come your way!

By Brittany Loeffler

Uloop Writer
Brittany is a senior English major with a concentration in creative writing at Temple University. After growing up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, she found her calling in the streets of the big city of Philadelphia. Aside from writing, she enjoys reading, movies, baking, and photography.

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