If you’re reading this article, congrats! That means you’ve probably landed an internship offer, which is a super exciting milestone in college. After applying, interviewing, and maybe even facing a little bit of rejection along the way, landing an offer feels like a wave of much-needed relief and accomplishment — but it doesn’t end once you’re extended the offer. The next step? Ask yourself these questions and decide if the role is a good fit.
1. Can you make the time commitment?
Some internships are regular 9-to-5 office jobs that you’ll show up to five days a week. Others might just have you show your face every couple of days. Some gigs even require weekend hours! If you’re balancing your internship with classes or a part-time job that isn’t flexibile, an internship that requires a big time commitment might be a deal breaker.
2. How valuable is the experience you’ll get?
At this stage in your professional career, any experience is important! But that doesn’t mean you should jump at just any offer. Let’s say you’re an aspiring journalist, and you land an internship doing data entry at a local newspaper. It might not be the job description you were hoping for, but at least you’re getting experience working in a newsroom! However, there might be similar roles within reach where you’d actually get some hands-on experience writing headlines and going to press events. Make sure you’re not limiting yourself!
3. Is there compensation?
No one is ever ecstatic about hearing “unpaid internship,” but many times the role will at least offer you some valuable credits that go toward your degree. Some internships are, in fact, paid — offering you either an hourly rate or a stipend after you’ve completed your time. While you shouldn’t let the word “unpaid” steer you away, you should definitely consider which one of your options offers the best compensation for your time.
4. Is the commute doable?
If temporarily relocating isn’t an option, your commute is a major factor! Think about it…could you afford to endure an hour-and-a-half long commute that involved expensive tolls, transit tickets, and immense rush-hour traffic for an unpaid internship? That’s probably not ideal, right?
5. What are your other options?
It’s super exciting getting your very first internship offer. So much so, that you might spit out a big “Yes, I’m in!” before even weighing your other options! We mentioned earlier that any experience is important, but you’ll certainly still want to pick the best offer in the bunch. If you still have some promising interviews scheduled, see if you’re able to defer your decision for a just little bit longer while you figure out the absolute best fit.