I have recently received an unpaid internship offer from a young start-up (Company A). I had not known the position was unpaid before interviewing. I am also waiting on a response to a paid internship application at Company B, where I am in the final list of candidates.
Company A was made aware of my position with respect to Company B before I interviewed (by another party). After being offered the position with Company A at interview I informed them I would need to think about it and wait to hear about Company B's offer. Unfortunately, Company B were delaying their response and Company A wanted a response ASAP.
I am concerned I may have then done 2 things wrong (no response so far, which I fear suggests both parties are unhappy). Firstly, I emailed Company B to politely request a response sooner since I am under pressure from Company A to accept (the truth). Secondly, I emailed Company A to confirm I was very excited and that I would like to get a list of responsibilities/benefits: a contract for me to assess. I mentioned concerns about doing the job with my current laptop (would they provide a work laptop?) and also if it would be possible to receive a modest monthly stipend (not a deal-breaker, but I didn't say this explicitly).
As a relatively inexperienced job-seeker, I wanted some feedback on my actions:
- Was it incorrect to notify Company B of my new situation and request earlier feedback?
- Should I have refrained from enquiring about specific benefits with Company A?
- In general, is it wrong to attempt to negotiate for some benefits from an unpaid internship?
Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
EDIT: A further question. Any advice on choosing between: (a) an unpaid internship which provides incredible experience doing something really interesting, (b) a paid internship offering less valuable (but still good) experience, but concerns about the attitude of the supervisor.