Sure, you are currently working for your dream company. You are assigned to do what you loved doing. You cannot ask for more from your supportive teammates, only that you are struggling with your finances.
Your internship is unpaid.
While it is true that internships are crucial for students to gain valuable experience and knowledge that cannot be found in books, still, it is difficult to be working full-time minus the pay. If you are among those who would kill for a particular career opportunity, you, most likely, would not give a damn if you need to move homes just so you can make the internship feasible.
You might not be receiving additional income from your employer, but you can definitely do something to stretch your dollars so you do not end up for food from your friends (although that could also make a good money-saving strategy).
Let’s talk about surviving unpaid internships.
1. Show off your ID.
Make the most out of student discounts!
They can keep your tummy well-fed even when you are on the verge of running out on cash. From restaurants to gadget centers, presenting your student ID entitles you for discounts as well as freebies.
Note that not all staff would remember asking customers about discounts they may be eligible so take the initiative. Inquire whether the shop is currently offering perks for students.
Bring your ID anywhere you go. It’s light anyway so it shouldn’t be a bother if it means making it through your everyday needs.
2. Negotiate with your employer.
Do not be shy to approach your employer about adjustments that can possibly be done on your shift. Emphasize your desire to be able to deliver and the setbacks that you are most concerned about.
For instance, you are already having a hard time making your allowance sufficient for your everyday expenses. Talk to your manager then about setting a flexible schedule. That which can allow you explore cheaper alternatives going to and fro the office.
Issues like this are best discussed during the job offer so ensure that you studied expenses you are likely to incur in advance.
3. Plan internships ahead of time.
Aside from talking to your employer, another survival strategy is to save for your internship as soon as possible.
If you have already heard about the company offering only unpaid internships then it is best that you start saving early. You might want to look for a part time job while the internship period has not started yet. Remember that you cannot be too choosy.
You do not see yourself after all waiting tables until the next decade so do worry about getting stuck. You are there for a reason, and temporarily. What’s important is that you earn money you can use during the internship period.
Additional tip: Refrain from using credit cards. If you cannot buy an item using cash, leave it.
4. Make use of your free time.
Take advantage of your spare time to finding additional source of income.
Look for jobs you can do at home, and are not that stressful. Say, offering to proofread a college paper for a fellow student, babysitting or working as store crew.
Ask your friends. As long as you only commit to something you know you can stand up to, then you are on the right track. You need your full attention, remember, on your internship. You cannot dedicate all your time and energy to your freelance jobs.
Finally, make time for rest. Never abuse your body.
Nettie Gray finds the part-time jobs she had as a college student priceless, though short-lived. She sold hotdogs, babysat for her neighbors, and wrapped gifts. The best part is that she got to work with people from all walks of life.