An “internship”, or simply a job training, is an opportunity offered by an employer to potential employees, called “interns”, to work at a firm for a fixed, limited period of time. Usually catered for undergraduates or students, internships are quite similar to apprenticeships. Typically, it could last from one week to 12-months. Often, internships are considered as the golden opportunity for freshies to gain their first ever job experience.
Employers, on the other hand, get to evaluate the interns for a possible permanent employment. Hence, it was a win-win situation. Interns have the chance to demonstrate their capabilities during the training period, while employers get to pick and choose the best candidates as their (new) staffs. Since the interns have zero experience, their pays or rather allowances, are often pathetic.
Interns could be paid a couple of hundreds of dollars, just enough to cover their food and transportation. Besides, some problematic interns could contribute close to zero productivity, so employers often think such paltry amount is justifiable. Of course, freshies shouldn’t be too choosy or picky as their primary objective is to get the relevant experiences, to be included into their resume.
Depending on your major and industry, the monthly pay for internships differ very much geographically. Top tier companies no longer offer monkey pay for fresh graduates, especially when such students come from prestige universities. Needless to say, besides arming yourself with credentials from top schools, it’s always wise to check out what are the market rate to work as an intern.
For all you know, the only reason why you didn’t make the internship with Google or Facebook could be due to your indifference or ignorance about your internship’s package. You may think that asking for market rate could offend the interviewer. But multinational companies such as Apple, Microsoft or Dropbox may get offended that you didn’t even bother about your own pays, giving an impression that you’re an unreliable staff.
Recently, 19-year-old Cornell student – Jessica Shu – had compiled some internships package from Reddit thread. As surprisingly as it shows, some top technology companies are paying top dollars even for “part-time” jobs, as some of you may equate as the internships. From US$6,000 salary plus US$2,500 housing per month, to above US$10,000, with free Macbook Pro thrown in – that’s how luxury and lucky interns are nowadays.
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