Cost vs. Benefit: Choosing the Right Internship

After applying for several internships, I expect to not get every job. But what if I get more than one offer? How will I decide which one is best for me? First and foremost, give yourself dates. Decide when you will stop applying for internships and when you will make a decision as to which internship you will accept. Also, keep in mind of the start dates of the internships you apply to because companies and organizations will need a fair warning if they need to contact another candidate.

I decided my cutoff date for applying for a summer internship would be mid-March and that I will decide by May 1st as to which internship offer I would accept. When interviewing for positions, communication is key. Be honest and inform potential employers that you are interviewing for other positions. If you are given an offer, thank them and remind them that you are still interviewing for other positions and ask if there is a deadline by which you will need to accept their offer. If not, give them a reasonable date by which you will inform them of your decision. After you receive all of your offers there are a few guidelines to consider when deciding on which internship offers to decline and which to accept.

Location, Location, Location

Will you have to relocate? Will you have to wake up at 4am and then take three buses and a train? While accepting an internship hours away in the city might seem exciting, it may not be realistic. Use the time you will save on commuting to get the most out of your internship.


While paid internships are few and far in-between, can you financially afford to accept an unpaid internship? Would you be able to intern part-time and work part-time? Some of the best internship offers you might receive are unpaid, but you still have tuition and rent to pay for. If the company or organization is flexible and willing to work with you, consider also picking up a summer job.


Ask yourself, will I actually learn something out of this internship? While there is an opportunity to learn something out of every experience, accepting an internship which you feel as though you can’t grow as a young professional is not of value. I was recently offered an internship with a government agency that was paid and in close proximity to me. However, I came to find out I would be filing, scanning and answering phones all summer. Make sure you find yourself somewhere where your talents can be utilized and showcased to the best of your abilities.

Have you received internship offers yet? If so, what are your non-negotiables?

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Cori Shearer.

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