Quitting a salaried job for a (potentially) unpaid internship?

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  • 1 Post By sapphirestarr14
  • 2 Post By annabananalise

Okay I made a nonsensical post in the Say It thread, but I wanted to make another one because honestly? This has been on my mind since Christmas. This seems like it'd be an obvious answer but...

I'm all set to finish my masters in August, but I haven't been able to do an internship yet because I work full time. And I've been told repeatedly by my advisor and professors that an internship, while not absolutely necessary, will be a big help in looking for jobs after graduating.

I'm worried because I want to go back to a more creative industry (I'm getting my masters in writing) and right now I work at a law firm. Which is fine, but my last creative position was a freelance/internship from my undergrad days.

I've considered saving all my money to support me through the summer while I finish my degree and do an internship that may or may not be paid. And quitting my salaried job.

I just don't want to go into post-grad hunting only really qualified to do law-related positions because I absolutely cannot--nay, WILL NOT-- do that long term. Right now I'm working for the university's literary magazine, but I feel like I need more.

What do you guys think? Stick to the guaranteed paycheck and graduate, or risk a not guaranteed paycheck to add more relevance to my resume?

Help?
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Last edited by annabananalise; 03-01-2013 at 12:37 PM.
Since you are working at a magazine already, i say keep the job. If you want more experience, try to get some freelance articles published.

Just my .02

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It's like a volunteer thing though. I'm just a reader for creative non-fiction.

I'm worried it's not enough because my resume is just so...unimpressive I feel.
Last relaxer: 8.4.10
BC: 9.6.11

when will your favs?

make the change while you still have the energy and inclination. once complacency takes hold its difficult to wiggle free. Im preparing to make a move myself. GL to you
Cam u volunteer and keep your job?

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See if the internship can be worked around your work schedule. Or if you can take a sabbatical. The VOR in me says keep your job. But I'm all for people pursuing their passion.
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I think it would be a bad idea to give up your source of income in the hopes that you will find something better as soon as you graduate in August. What if you don't find something right away? How long will your savings last you?

Why not start looking for a paid position in your desired field, similar to what you would be looking for once you graduate?

But yeah, in the meantime, I would work something out where I would do some pro bono stuff on the wknds.
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I think it would be a bad idea to give up your source of income in the hopes that you will find something better as soon as you graduate in August. What if you don't find something right away? How long will your savings last you?


Why not start looking for a paid position in your desired field, similar to what you would be looking for once you graduate?
I totally understand. I'm not expecting to find something right after I graduate, but I want to go into writing/publishing/editorial stuff which is impossible to break into without experience/connections/a foot in the door. And my program is very connected with potential internships and I don't want to waste that advantage.

I don't really have qualifications for paid jobs in my desired field which is why I want an internship.

Cam u volunteer and keep your job?
I'm doing that now. The magazine thing is student-run and it ends in the spring.

See if the internship can be worked around your work schedule. Or if you can take a sabbatical. The VOR in me says keep your job. But I'm all for people pursuing their passion.
Most of the internships are 20-30 hrs a week. And sabbaticals aren't really a thing at this job. I'm just a legal assistant.

make the change while you still have the energy and inclination. once complacency takes hold its difficult to wiggle free. Im preparing to make a move myself. GL to you
Haha that's the advice my dad gave when I asked him. He's super practical and prefers stability. He also offered to cover my living expenses, but I told him I could handle it.
Last relaxer: 8.4.10
BC: 9.6.11

when will your favs?

Btdubs thanks for your responses. I really appreciate it.
Last relaxer: 8.4.10
BC: 9.6.11

when will your favs?

I agree with your dad and OBB. Do it now, if you can swing it. What's interesting is that someone here was asking about internships not too long ago and the advice was to suck it up and do it. Maybe if you start putting some feelers out now, you can get a paid one. We pay our marketing interns $17/hour, which isn't bad for a college student.
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Yeah, +1 to your dad, OBB, and mrspoppers.

It sucks, but it sounds like it might be worth it in the long run. Would you ever consider a part-time job, to supplement your savings?

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I totally understand. I'm not expecting to find something right after I graduate, but I want to go into writing/publishing/editorial stuff which is impossible to break into without experience/connections/a foot in the door. And my program is very connected with potential internships and I don't want to waste that advantage.

I don't really have qualifications for paid jobs in my desired field which is why I want an internship.
Originally Posted by annabananalise
I think you have you answer right here. Education, that you're likely paying big bucks for, is more than just in the classroom. The school offers those connections and internships to its students as part of the education. What's the point of getting the degree if you can't use it? I don't think the opportunities are just an "advantage" you you believe they're a requirement to get into the field after graduation. It sounds like its actually a necessary part if you're degree.
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I'll give you the same advice I gave my husband, do what you need to do to reach your end goal. He's a grad student and was working at a commercial real estate business. He hated it and asked if he should quit and take on an internship through his school. We crunched numbers and found a way to make it work. He "works" part time at a hospital doing a required internship for his program and for a program developed by one of his professors on campus. He's much happier now and both have opened up possible permanent positions post graduation. If you can make it work, then go for it especially if someone is willing to help you. Best of luck! Getting your foot in the right doors will make it all worth it!
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It sounds like doing the internship will open doors to the career you want, then go for it. Save up money, and if there ever is a time that you may need your father's financial help, take it since he offered. You can always pay him back.

Stay connected with the people at your school, even after you graduate. Once you quit your job, get involved with writing organizations and freelance. Your internship will help when applying to jobs. I was once offered a position partially based on where I had interned.
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If you're going to go for it, i think you should quantify now much your dad can help. I think it was good advice to look for a part time job in order to take the internship

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Thanks, guys! I'm leaning towards this. I haven't gotten a summer internship yet, but I am going to apply seriously.

(I'm also applying to job jobs because why not?)

So we'll see. I'm excited to not feel "stuck" anymore.
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Last relaxer: 8.4.10
BC: 9.6.11

when will your favs?

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