The question of whether to apply for and take on an internship can be difficult. As publicist Kima Jones told Refinery29, not everyone can afford to enter a temporary, often low-paying (or completely unpaid) job program. And, as author Neil Howe puts it, not all internships give participants real options for advancement.
"In 2013," Howe wrote, "NACE [the National Association of Colleges and Employers], reported that only 63 percent of graduating students who had held paid internships received a job offer by graduation. As for unpaid internships, students who have them are today hardly more likely to get a job offer (37 percent) than those who have no internship at all (35 percent)."
Even so, internships continue to be a huge point of optimism among those who take on these roles. For example, in one Money Diaries series, several women chronicled their spending habits for a week during their internship programs. One person had taken on an unpaid internship (while working a handful of other jobs) to fulfill a requirement for her graduate program. Another, an undergrad balanced the tail end of her course load while working. And, overall, all of the interns were doing their best to figure out how to network as effectively as possible in the time they had.