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Old 12-25-13, 05:25 PM   #1
RubenX 
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I have a question about Internships

The whole concept of internships is kind of alien to me because we don't have those in Puerto Rico. The culture down there says, if you work, you must get paid. You might have the lowest possible salary if you are learning, but you do get paid.

Anyway, here's my question:

if

1. A small company an open position (for actual job, *not* internship).
2. You are not fully qualified, but you do know the basics and you are VERY interested in learning more.
3. You do have a lot of free time to volunteer as an unpaid intern.

Would it be OK to approach this company and ask for an internship?
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Old 12-25-13, 05:27 PM   #2
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Usually internships are connected with a local college. But you have nothing to lose. Make sure that it is not open-ended and there is an end point, say 3 or 6 months.
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Old 12-25-13, 05:35 PM   #3
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Whatever gets you through the door.

The problem maybe gaining proprietary knowledge. I'm not sure a company can make you sign a non-compete clause. I guess they could hold you to a non-disclosure.

The other thing is you become cheap from the start. Tough to prove value when you start free.

See how much attention Joshua Bell gets playing for free.

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Old 12-26-13, 09:06 AM   #4
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Interns are usually students still. There are a few internships for high school students, the vast majority are for college students. Many are unpaid, though, I've had a couple paid internships myself.

They are meant for the student to gain valuable work experience that he/she just will not attain through school. Oftentimes only for a few months and the intern works on one specific project. There are many variations though, some open ended, and some with duties "as assigned."

What is your goal for this internship?
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Old 12-26-13, 09:24 AM   #5
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You may run into rules/laws regarding the availability of qualified applicants. In some places, a company may not be able to take on an unpaid intern for an open position, if qualified applicants exist who would be paid. You can always offer the internship thing, but you might also just offer to work for less until you meet the experience/knowledge qualifications of the original opening. Then you should be bumped up in pay.
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Old 12-26-13, 09:34 AM   #6
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You should read the Wiki article on internships. Not only do the rules concerning unpaid interns vary by country, in the USA the laws vary by state. The unpaid intern to permanent job statistic is telling.
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Old 12-26-13, 09:43 AM   #7
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Old 12-26-13, 10:41 AM   #8
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Just talk to HR and express interest in the job. Let them provide the required training.
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Old 12-26-13, 11:10 AM   #9
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Can we ask what type of industry that you are entering? I run a small business and occasionally have people that come to me and ask to do unpaid internships. Most of the time they want to learn our business to start something on their own. Our industry has quite a few sectors and niche markets so I wouldn't always be training my future competition, but it's hard to say. I've never taken anyone up on their offers, even though I probably could have benefitted from having them there. However, I am currently working on a program with the local college to offer a paid summer internship for some kids in their art program. I see a big difference between taking an intern from a school when a student is gaining knowledge on their journey, vs. someone who is just offering to work for free so we can train them.
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Old 12-26-13, 11:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
Interns are usually students still. There are a few internships for high school students, the vast majority are for college students. Many are unpaid, though, I've had a couple paid internships myself.

They are meant for the student to gain valuable work experience that he/she just will not attain through school. Oftentimes only for a few months and the intern works on one specific project. There are many variations though, some open ended, and some with duties "as assigned."
+1

I have only seen internships offered to students. I started my career as a paid engineering intern and then the company hired me full-time after I graduated.

My daughter is interning at radio stations and they require her to be a student and enrolled in a college work study class because the internships are unpaid.
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