In turns out unpaid internships aren’t so bad

by | Aug 9, 2013 | Opinion, Tips & Advice

I’m glad, ecstatic, amazed, overjoyed and every other happy adjective you can think of. Today I was told that my internship was turning into a full-time job. I’m to start work as an employee on Monday (12th of August) and I’ll finally get paid for the work that I’ll be doing after suffering 6 weeks on no income and purely just burning through my savings.

What’s the job

I’ll be working in Central London of off Oxford Street for a division that does Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for clients in the United Kingdom. I don’t have an assigned title yet, but I’ve kind of crowned myself as an SEO Specialist. I’ll be working on 50% technical SEO and 50% content marketing. Essentially I’ll be doing a mixture of both and I’m hoping to improve my technical knowledge of implementation and simply doing things correctly. The reason I’m doing this type of job is because when I was 16/17 I managed my own web hosting business and it taught me about digital and I naturally learned about SEO. In fact, this job is quite ideal and is the perfect job opportunity and I’m hoping to grow out and become a professional in this field as I’m already quite passionate about this type of work.

What did I do to stand out

This is a question that is quite specific to the job that you’re doing. The main things that I did to stand out was to ask as many questions as I possibly could come up with and to act upon those answers immediately. While I am reluctant to go into specifics of what I had done, I feel I can confidently say that I achieved quite a bit for the team. If you can achieve and become successful by going the extra mile and doing significant things then you’ll get noticed and you’ll possibly turn that unpaid internship into something. I think that getting noticed and doing work that looks credible is essential and being consistent in doing well is another eye opener.

Abolishing Unpaid Internships

I hear the argument for abolishing unpaid internships and I do partly agree with this. I however feel that this argument has been struck down by the very fact that I’ve managed to turn my internship into a job. Also, I don’t think internships are bad and people have a choice as to whether they’d want to do an internship. I mean, it’s not as if you’re being forced to do the work and it’s a way to learn and become part of an office experience and generally looks good on a blank CV. (My CV was not blank!) I also hear the argument that people are desperate and that employers are taking advantage of that fact; I’m afraid this is just the beginning of changing times and while I’m not a heartless bastard and I did indeed do an internship myself and as long as the business or company you’re interning with isn’t forcing you to do things you don’t want to do then I don’t see a problem. I’ve done a 6 week unpaid internship and I doubt the people arguing against internships have actually been interns before and if they have, I doubt they succeeded in getting job through their internship. (Otherwise they wouldn’t be complaining)

What does the future look like

The future looks quite bright. In fact, I’m looking to do a part-time course at Birkbeck University for Web Technologies. It’s a foundation degree that will help me excel and become more qualified in the field that I’m aiming for. They also have a campus in Stratford, although my new job is actually nearby to Birkbeck University’s main campus. I’m not yet sure if the course would be feasible for me as I’ll be working full-time and I have no idea if the part-time course could cater to my needs and if I could do the course around my job. However, if I can then great! I’ll definitely have to look into it and sign up for a course! Though I do have that feeling that I’ll be unable to do any external courses due to the nature of that job that I’ve entered.

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