Dinero Teens: The BENEFITS of unpaid internships and volunteering

Even though an unpaid internship or volunteering opportunity doesn’t come with a pay check, the philanthropic benefits and knowledge growth opportunities are numerous. Here are several reasons supporting unpaid internships and volunteering.

- become a part of your community
By volunteering you have the chance to connect with a community or a cause that’s important to you. By volunteering in your community you can also meet others your age that have similar interests. Plus, you are giving back to your community which is a feeling greater than any pay check! If you’re looking for a place to start, check out your city’s website for information on local nonprofits and volunteer opportunities.

- earn a letter of recommendation
Volunteer opportunities and internships lead to great letters of recommendation. Many competitive colleges require letters of recommendation when applying. Therefore, you can ask the volunteer moderator or internship advisor to write you a letter after you have completed your time spent working.Interview-(1).jpg
- new knowledge in a given field
One of the benefits of volunteering or seeking an unpaid internship is they’re often less sought after by other students, so you can be selective in choosing the company or non-profit. Take this opportunity to explore a certain industry or work field that’s of interest to you.

E - expand your horizons
If you’re not sure about what you want to do after college or what career interests you, not a problem! Take this opportunity to expand your horizons and spend time trying to figure out your interests. If you’re more of an analytical thinker, look for a volunteering opportunity that would challenge your creative side.

F - find out what it feels like to give back
Some research suggests that volunteering boosts happiness and can even help you live longer. By finding out what it feels like to give back to the community at a young age, you’ll be more likely to continue this positive habit throughout the rest of your life. Check out these benefits of volunteering!

I - insight in the best college programs
By doing an internship in your desired field you may get insight in the best college programs. One of the best resources for information on colleges will be the people you work with. They will know from experience which schools are best for your work field and more importantly, how to get into those universities. Don’t be shy when it comes to asking questions about how to start a career in your field of interest!

T - time management skills
Ever wonder what it’s like to walk a day in your parents’ shoes? You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day aspects of the ”real world” and how your career path will proceed. Juggling work or volunteering, school, friends and any other activities is hard work. By working/volunteering you’ll learn all about time management, in addition to a lot of other helpful life lessons, like proper etiquette and proper dress.

Volunteer.jpgS- social building and professionalism
Some of the most important lessons you will learn will involve teamwork and handling conflicts or stress in an office with a group of professionals. You have the opportunity to develop strong people skills whether it is in person, on the phone, or through email and social networking sites. Through these interactions you’ll have created a strong network of professionals for the future.

Volunteering or seeking an unpaid internship is a great way to build your resume, improve yourself and figure out what you’d like to do after college. In addition, you have the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people from every walk of life. By taking one of these opportunities, you can develop skills or make yourself more well-rounded. Allowing yourself to be more prepared for the future and life after school. 

Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/23/volunteering-happiness-depression-live-longer_n_3804274.html
News Medical: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20130619/Study-reveals-volunteering-makes-positive-impact-on-peoples-health.aspx
Chron: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/build-professionalism-709.html
Entrepreneur: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/219553#
About.com: http://internships.about.com/od/internshiptip1/a/Are-There-Benefits-To-Doing-An-Unpaid-Internship.htm
Help Guide.org: http://www.helpguide.org/life/volunteer_opportunities_benefits_volunteering.htm