I ofen encounter employers who seek to hire college students for minimal or no compensation. They usually cite the plethora of skills, knowledge and experience students will gain as ample payment for their efforts. While I tend to shy away from such companies I am fully aware that in many cases working for free is indeed a viable option to aid in building or enhancing one’s personal brand. In many cases companies do not have the resources to compensate additional workers however there is ample work that needs to be done. If you find that you are lacking in a particular area, offering to volunteer for an organzation is a great way to develop your capabilities. Conduct your research; create a list of the tasks you will perform and clearly indicate how the work experience will contribute to your personal and professional growth.
If you determine that it’s a worthwhile investment of your time and talent to gain the exposure to a particular area of interest I recommend that you seize the opportunity. However be mindful of those volunteer roles where the only new addition to your resume will read, “gained exposure to…”. If you do decide to work for free you must do so with the understanding that you will acqiure knowledge, skills or abilities that are currently transferrable and will ultimately be valuable .