Bonus YSS: Internship? Volunteer?

Just what is an internship? Have you heard people throwing the word around and not sure exactly what it means or why people would do it? And how is an internship different from volunteering? Here’s a little 411 on internships versus the volunteer world:

Internship, noun: any period of time during which a beginner acquires experience in an occupation, profession, or pursuit:


Internships help people gain experience in careers. Internships are typically found among “white collar” jobs like law firms or interior design firms where a higher level of education is usually needed. Internships are, in essence, an exchange of services for experience in a career field.

Usually college students look for internships because they are trying to figure out what jobs interest them. But it’s not at all unheard of for high school students to intern. 

Internships can be paid or unpaid but unpaid internships are becoming a thing of the past. Certain industries have shifted their laws so that interns must be paid or so that students can earn college credit. 

DID YOU KNOW? The National Association of Colleges and Employers says interns who get paid are almost twice as likely as their unpaid counterparts to get a job offer when they graduate.


When paid for your internship, the money is usually low as people who intern know that the knowledge and skills that they are acquiring have lots of value. Their experience as an intern will often be what helps them to get into graduate school or to acquire a job later.

So for example, if you know that you want to be in the music industry as your life long career, then you might decide to take an internship to help you gain experience on your resume and to meet contacts in the business. You may also take an internship because you DON’T know if you want to be in the music industry for the rest of your life and so you want to try it out. 



Volunteering is more about helping out other people and/or causes rather than gaining experience for a career. And apparently it’s good for your health, too! When we volunteer, we help take care of all sorts of needs – gathering clothing for those in need, food delivered, spaces cleaned, housing built, animals cleaned, you name it. 

DID YOU KNOW? 55% of adolescents enjoy volunteering. 


Volunteering, as it turns out, is good for you! Of course, helping others always feels good, but apparently, a new study finds, that when teens helps strangers either through small acts of kindness or larger acts, the teens’ self-worth increases. So you feel better about who you are. 

What’s interesting about the research is that helping strangers has a greater impact on the self than helping a friend or family member. Huh? Why do you think that is so?

(To learn more, you can read about the study here:

Volunteering is also a great way to try different ideas as far as what interests you. If you think you want a career working with animals, go ahead and “volunteer” at the local animal shelter so that you give to others and gain experience in your field of choice. One day, you may get paid for it. That’s when it’s considered work😉

If you want to make a difference in the world, definitely check out, they have unlimited suggestions on how you can put your talent and passion to work for a good cause:

Post Question:

Have you ever interned or volunteered? Doing what?

Answer the post question here

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