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What Are the Disadvantages of an Internship?

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Many businesses hire interns who require little or no pay, can work for long hours and still do not know much about the trade or focus of business. Some internships are very fulfilling and lead to unexpected job opportunities, while others seem daunting, uninteresting and grueling.


Many interns work for no pay. While some make a stipend each week or month, it is usually not enough to be considered a living wage. Sometimes interns have enough time in their schedules to secure another, less time consuming job to provide for themselves; however, many internships run from morning to night, prohibiting the intern from working an additional job and leaving him with little money to pay for room and board.

Lack of Fulfillment

Internships are not always what they seem. Some businesses lure an intern into the position with empty promises of bountiful learning opportunities and upward career movement. Sometimes internships are merely in place to provide upper-level employees with workhorses who earnestly try to complete menial tasks. Interns can avoid this nightmare by communicating with their superiors before arriving and agreeing upon goals or objectives to complete before the end of the internship.

Too Much Interning

While interning is a great opportunity to learn and make contacts, too many internships on a resume sends bad or misleading signals to potential employers. These employers may believe the applicant is not worthy or responsible enough to obtain a paying job, while others want to see a resume with a bit more professional experience listed. Potential employers also may not understand the connection between numerous internships or how they relate to their line of business.


Internships that match an individual's goals may not be available close to home. In that case, the intern must relocate in order to obtain the internship, which is costly. Relocation makes the internship a bit more difficult, due to securing housing and finding additional employment in an unknown area. If the intern already rents or owns a residence in her hometown, the cost of maintaining both residences may be prohibitive.


Residing in Bristol, Va., Mitchell Land began writing for various websites in 2010. He worked as a writing center tutor at Baylor School for three years, where he also contributed music reviews to "Baylor Notes." He attends Greensboro College in North Carolina and studies theater and French.

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