The PDXSX will always try to arrange for interns to be paid, but we cannot guarantee compensation. If it comes down to the internship experience without compensation or no internship experience at all, we encourage you to take the experience. Another option is for you to apply for the PDXSX’s Staniak Scholarship, which offers a $2,000 stipend for your internship.
Consider that it’s becoming harder and harder for college graduates to find work right out of college. Most companies look for real-world experience when hiring, and the best way to get that experience is through an internship. Any internship is worth it in the long run if a student wants to get a foot in the door and figure out a career path.
Where possible, interns earn $10/hour for approximately 20-30 hours per week. A typical schedule has students working 8AM to 12PM, Monday through Thursday, and 8AM to 12PM or longer on Fridays because students don’t have class on Fridays.
Compensation often hinges on several factors, the greatest being the economy. Many communication careers are considered “client service” industries. That is to say, they are dependent upon client dollars to stay in business. When times are lean, client dollars dry up and organizations are unwilling to pay for additional expenses, such as interns. When economic times are more generous, paid internships are easier to acquire.
Given the constantly changing economic climate the PDXSX program also understands that letters of recommendation (LORs), professional references, networking opportunities, hands-on experience and internship extensions or job offers are also very valuable, intangible forms of compensation.