While they might not be the most financially savvy decision for a debt-ridden college graduate, unpaid internships provide various opportunities for students unable to find or commit to a full-time job right out of school.

Unlike in the classroom, unpaid internships offer students the ability to get their hands dirty. The University offers invaluable resources, but it’s not until students enter the real world that those lessons can be put into practice.

Unpaid internships also give students the opportunity to network with skilled professionals in various fields. Establishing relationships can sometimes be the most valuable aspect of an unpaid internship.

Unpaid internships give graduates the opportunity to explore a career field and determine if it is what they truly want to do before embarking on an actual career in that particular area. It gives them a sense of whether they’d like to continue in that direction or possibly pursue a new area of study.

Although unpaid internships offer some great benefits, there is one obvious downside — the foremost of which is not getting paid. There is also the uncertainty of whether the internship will actually lead to a future job.

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