top of page
  • Writer's pictureWISE Family

Internship vs. Volunteering

Written By: Kelli Claiborne

Head of Research, The Wise College Counsel

As we quickly approach the end of an unconventional yet innovative school year. Many high school and college students may be wondering, is there more that I can do to help me stand out for future schools and jobs? How can I effectively utilize this summer to not only better myself academically but also gain new connections and experiences? Summer internships and volunteer opportunities are amazing ways to network with different people who can give you insight into what you can do to make yourself stand out.

First, it’s important to know the difference between internships and volunteer opportunities. Let’s break down internships first. An internship is a position of a student or trainee who works in an organization to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification. There are typically two types of internships, paid and unpaid. Paid internships usually provide a small salary to their interns as the intern works. Even though the pay is small the connections and networking opportunities are priceless. Unpaid internships provide the same opportunities of networking just without the small pay. Internships usually occur over a long period of time, anywhere between six months to a year or possibly more. In the long run, internships offer invaluable experiences and could be the first step into becoming a full-time employee of an organization.

Now volunteer opportunities can be very similar to internships. Volunteering is the act of freely offering to take part in an organization or complete a task. So opting to participate in volunteering opportunities essentially means that you want to work with a specific organization for the experience and the networking opportunities. Though volunteering and internships are similar they do have a few major differences. One being volunteering is usually unpaid work. Another difference is the timeline for volunteering can vary depending on what you would like to do. Most volunteer opportunities can be as short as one day and as long as multiple years. The main draw to volunteering is the chance to network with people in a particular field or position.

So now that you know a bit more about internships and volunteering you may be wondering how can I find the best internship or volunteering opportunity for me? Where do I start, and how do I get in contact with the organization I want to work with? That’s where we, The Wise College Counsel, come in! We have a team of highly experienced counselors that love helping to connect students to internship and volunteering opportunities that are tailored specifically to your academic and professional goals. So feel free to reach out and we can’t wait to work with you!

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page