/ Asked by Sean
I get networking plays into internships, but I'm broke and need to make money over the summer. Is a job over the summer equal to an internship? Or am I hurting my chances of getting hired in a couple years? The internships my school has provided are not paid, and if they are it's not much money at all.
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Tuesday, April 14, 2015
This is always a tough decision to make,  whichever option you decide the key is to make the most of the situation.   If you decide and have the luxury of taking the unpaid internship, networking within a company and industry you are considering for a long-term career is  very beneficial. Take advantage of every opportunity to work with as many people as you can and make yourself available to assist whereever possible.  You will also have the chance to hear about new potential paid positionsand/ or projects opening up and be able to take advantage of those opportunities. Your other mission in taking the unpaid internship is to test the waters and see if this is what you are passionate about,as a long-term career.  This could be a priceless opportunity if you have never worked in the industry prior. Perhaps you can do both take the unpaid internship and work.  Consider taking a shorter unpaid internship at the beginning of the summer and working for the second half, or if things work out maybe a paid position will open up at the company where you are doing the internship.  If you decide to take the summer job, there will be skills you will develop that will be transferable to whatever position you will be looking for later down the road. Try and find a position as close to your future goals as possible, and this will make the skill set that much more relevant to speak about in future interviews.  Good Luck! 
Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Depending on the type of summer job you take, it could be equal to an internship. If you have to take a job over an internship, I would recommend trying to find something within your field of study. Also, companies that offer unpaid internships may be more flexible with your work schedule. If possible, I would try securing an internship and finding a job that has evening/weekend hours or other hours that would work around an internship schedule. An internship is a great experience to put on your resume and I think it could only benefit you in the long run when trying to secure a full time position. I would also recommend looking for paid internships outside of your school. While your Career Services office more than likely has an extensive list of companies that offer internships, there are more than likely several other companies looking for interns that your school may not be aware of.
Answered by Kaitlin, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
The answer to your question is it really depends what type of summer job you get. If your job is something in your field of study then I think it will be a beneficial job to have for the summer months to build your resume. I wouldn’t disregard internships all together, though. There are some internships that are unpaid or give a stipend each day you work. Many times these companies are flexible with the student having another job. They know it is important for students to have an income when they are out of school during the summer. This might be the way to satisfy having an internship within your field of study while also having a part-time job that you will earn money from. Speak to Career Services at your school as well. They will be able to give you more insight into internships within your major that might be of interest to you. Good luck!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, April 17, 2015
Internships are important, but it is fully understandable that you need to earn some money to help pay for your education and other expenses.  I think it is fine to get a summer job now, but if you will still be an undergraduate next year, I would focus on obtaining an internship then.  In other words, it will be helpful to have at least one internship under your belt when you are ready to apply for full time jobs.  Perhaps you can investigate if you can obtain an internship during the school year.  Many companies offer internships in the spring and fall, so this could be another option for you.  In any case, try to use the summer job that you get this year as a learning experience and an opportunity to develop examples and stories that you can eventually use in an interview.
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