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The title of this post probably has you wondering… could there really be any disadvantages of an internship? 

Well, it depends. Let’s discuss. 

I’ve always said that you should be willing to take any internship for the experience alone. Even if an internship isn’t your ideal position, if you approach it correctly, you can learn a lot. 

With this said, there is a caveat to my recommendation. 

What else could you be doing with your time that would be more valuable (long-term) than the value you'll gain from your internship? 

Today, we’re going to talk about this possible disadvantage of taking on an internship. 

You may also be interested in Achieving Mastery: Ryan on The Cole Smith Show Podcast

The Opportunity Cost Of Your Time

You remember all of those discussions in class about opportunity cost? 

Your time is in finite supply. It’s worth a lot! 

So, if you’re going to use your time over the summer or a school semester working in a tech internship, what else could you be doing with your time?

You see, there’s an opportunity cost to everything.

There’s an opportunity cost to me writing this post and you reading this post.  

So, this doesn’t necessarily mean this is a 100% disadvantage of getting an internship. What it means is that you need to make sure that any internship you’re considering is the best use of your time.

The Bottom Line

Are there other opportunities available to you during that same time that you could get involved with? 

If so, then you should think about those opportunities.

If not, then the internship is the way to go.  

When you do this analysis, don’t be short-sighted. You need to think about what your internship experience will give you in the long-term. 

Most likely, an internship is the best choice for you, so don’t overthink it.


Ryan has been heavily involved in the world of Information Technology and entrepreneurship since the early 2000s. From small business consulting to Fortune 500 IT leadership, Ryan has a wide array of tech industry knowledge. Ryan has his BBA and MBA from the University of Iowa. Connect with Ryan on Twitter or Instagram.

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