What Are The Benefits Of Internships To Interns?

The main reason internships are beneficial is the corporate experience.

Colleges teach you some skills. These are often outdated or not really applicable in a real business context.

The Value of Corporate Experience in Internships

First, internships immerse you in corporate culture, introducing unspoken workplace rules, team dynamics, and organizational hierarchy. This firsthand experience sets you apart in the workforce, equipping you with crucial navigation skills.

Second, internships enable real-world application of academic skills. Theories and principles come alive when applied to actual work situations, reinforcing academic learning and providing practical understanding valued by future employers.

Networking is another significant advantage. The corporate setting exposes you to professionals in your field, offering opportunities for future job placements, references, or mentorships. These connections provide insights into job roles, company cultures, and career paths.

Additionally, internships introduce you to corporate tools and software outside of standard academic curricula. This technical knowledge enhances your marketability, giving you a competitive edge in job interviews and professional life.

Problem-solving is another skill honed by internships. Corporations face complex challenges requiring innovative solutions. Participation in problem-solving teams enhances your skills, teaching you to approach problems methodically, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively.

Internships also teach accountability and responsibility. You often handle tasks that are part of larger projects, instilling a sense of responsibility. Learning to be accountable for your contributions, meet deadlines, and deliver quality work are traits employers seek.

Furthermore, internships offer a low-risk environment to navigate office politics. Understanding how to manage relationships, build alliances, and avoid potential pitfalls is essential to professional life.

While there are certain “team projects” every now and then, it’s nowhere near the actual scenario of participating in the production, planning, strategy, collaboration, and execution which you can do as part of the benefits of internships.

Of course, some firms are better than others. They may have designated mentors or a training or onboarding program for interns and entry-level folks. Sadly, this isn’t as common, but any company would do better than none.

Throughout one’s career, applying industry skills, communicating with team members, and following business objectives are always applicable. Gaining experience at two or three companies helps to determine what’s common in business and some of the best practices interns need to apply once they land a real job.

Let alone the fact that top interns often receive permanent offers being one of the benefits of internships for many interns. It is far easier than going through interviews.

Do Job Postings With Salary Range Work Better?

Job Postings

We certainly have seen more applications coming in after announcing a salary range for certain roles.

This isn’t quite common for most roles out there. There are two specific benefitsto doing this:

  1. More applications, as mentioned.
  2. Ensuring that the applicants will fit the salary requirements.

Sadly, this approach comes with various negatives:

  1. Poor brand perception unless the salary is really high. Nobody wants to be perceived as “cheap”.
  2. Receiving a larger volume of applications from interns and juniors aiming for this range.
  3. Missing out on candidates who may fit a different level of seniority or a role.
  4. Due to #2 or #3, defining ranges is complicated. Many companies are open to different configurations based on the interviews. It may be worth paying a bit more for a senior and a mid-level than two mid-levels.
  5. Missing decent talent that ranks a higher paycheck first, regardless of any other factors.
  6. Payment expectations at interviews are always near the top 10% of the salary range.

What Is The Difference Between Freelancers And Office Workers?

Freelancers Are Usually Project-Based Employees 

The common belief is that freelancers are usually project-based employees who often work independently on a specific project with a deadline. This may vary given ongoing agreements (a certain number of hours a month) and collaboration with other people.

Due to the irregular work schedule and a limited number of hours, they may be assigned to activities that are not mission-critical – i.e. avoiding client communication, tough deadlines, support calls/emails and the like. There are flexible agreements that could cover that – but time flexibility is often important to freelancers.

Office Workers 

Standard office workers work a 9-to-5 job at the office. The norm is fixed hours in a corporate environment, working closely with other team members, reporting to management on-site.

This usually means strict hours, no commitments in the evening/weekends, taking care of business activities that need to happen within the agreed hours.

That said, some companies also offer telecommuting or remote work. It’s a mix between freelance and office work since it incorporates the flexibility of working from home or a coffee shop with the required availability during business hours.

Communication Is One Of The Main Challenges

When hiring remote workers, communication is one of the main challenges we have with former freelancers.

Due to the specifics mentioned above, full-time remote workers have a hard time working closely with the rest of the team, communicating regularly, or discussing business needs whenever they arise.

They tend to handle things separately (which leads to less management overhead) but often delay assignments or work on a different type of problem (which leads to friction in the workplace).

Letting an office employee work remotely is sometimes easier than asking a freelancer to commit to the standard working hours.

As the team better understands the project’s objectives and requirements, they can more accurately estimate timelines and set achievable goals. This often leads to a more focused and efficient work process, which helps recover any lost productivity from the initial weeks.

In summary, while the beginning stages may be fraught with distractions and a potential dip in productivity, these are generally short-lived challenges. Over time, the team will likely become more synergistic, leading to improved performance and outcomes.

Upwork’s IPO Impact On Freelancers Who Use Their Platform

As a former freelancer, I’d generated over $60K back in the day. As a company owner, we’ve already invested 6 figures through Upwork.

Upwork's IPO Impact On Freelancers Who Use Their Platform
A Screengrab of Upwork Homepage

Increase The Profit Margins

While the long-term strategy of Upwork may shift, going public will mean stricter compliance reported to investors and finding opportunities to increase the profit margins (and profit as a whole).

The easiest way to do this is increasing the lifetime value of each customer or freelancer.

According to Upwork – Wikipedia:

Upwork has twelve million registered freelancers and five million registered clients. Three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion USD, making it one of the largest freelancer marketplaces along with Fiverr.

There’s a fine balance between:

  • Sufficient engagement (number of available jobs for freelancers and enough quality applications in a short period of time for clients)
  • Scalable infrastructure and minimal overhead (the ability to keep expanding and keeping costs down, both on hardware and headcount)


What Upwork Has Done So Far For Clients And Freelancers

Upwork has already made certain adjustments in order to support high-profile clients and successful freelancers. Some of which adjustments include the following:

  • Signing up is pretty rough for certain countries, especially across Asia.
  • The first $500 per client are taxed with 20% by Upwork.
  • “Rising talent” is a prominent feature for freelancers who aced a few jobs, and get a slight boost for additional job prospects on the platform.
  • The minimum hourly fee was boosted to $3,33 several years ago. This may see low, but for comparison, the average salary in Bangladesh is ~$60/month, and it goes as low as $20 or so.
  • Long-term contracts incur lower overhead for Upwork. That’s why a freelancer accumulating over $10K for a client is charged just 5% onward, a tempting offer for ongoing contracts and hiring.
  • Reputable companies often get additional recommendations for hiring help and recommendations with an account manager from Upwork. Another incentive for keeping investments on the platform.

So, reasonable move forward is establishing stronger constraints for freelancers, possibly reducing their number to increase the average quality. There are far too many bot agencies sending proposals for every single job, radically reducing customer satisfaction.

Additional perks for companies who outsource their development entirely, probably with dedicated account managers.

Move Up The Ladder

There are plenty of low-cost freelance networks out there, and a few high tier like Toptal. My guess is that Upwork will move up the ladder, reducing their overhead and increasing the satisfaction of their enterprise-grade customers.