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Nobody paid me for a really, really long time.

Unpaid internships: the good the bad and the ugly.

Photo of Shauna Carey
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Between the ages of 17 and 22, I did five internships in three countries, most of which were unpaid. I loved them. I gained a ton of skills, flexed my independence, found mentors, and tried my hand at real-world work. But, the truth is that like most interns, I was doing actual work. I was doing a job and not getting compensated.

The skills I gained were invaluable.
The lack of payment made me feel like I wasn't being valued.

Here's what I want to know:
How might we balance the benefits of challenging internships with the financial realities that young people face?

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Photo of Sagar Tandon

I really like Meena's reference https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/research/career-path-of-a-16-year-old-my-logical-journey-to-who-knows-where How we can use these internship experiences to have practical learning. But somehow I can align your feelings with myself also, because I have done lot of voluntary work and I am never being paid. Apart from that I am working with social enterprises to help them grow as my IDEX fellowship experience but I am not being paid, which makes me feel bad sometimes that I am still dependent on my mom dad.

But somebody has rightly mentioned Oprah's quote somewhere "No experience is ever wasted. Every experience has meaning", I completely agree with this as one of my friend said "make the most of it and it will surprise you how far you go".

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