I dropped out of college earlier in my first semester. I later applied to a internship using that college ID card which I successfully completed. This year I again enrolled in a cheap course to get a college ID card (legally). I am planning to get some internship experience in upcoming months. I am also planning of getting a real full time job after few more months of completing internship.

So my situation is I am a college dropout who completed two internships in two consecutive years with being a student actually but legally a student.

So how can I explain this to a prospective employer? Should I tell me honestly that I applied to some graduation course each year to have internship? Although I haven't done anything illegal but still I am worried this can have negative impact on me? Or should I don't mention the internship experience in my CV or should I do something else?

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    Do you feel like people in this industry expect interns to be students who are truly pursuing a degree and may think you were not open and honest about your intentions? – user8365 Sep 8 '14 at 18:26
  • @JeffO For the first part: I don't know about outside but I can say yes for my country. Internships are mostly for students here. I have not seen any intern who is non-student so far – dropout Sep 8 '14 at 20:31

List the internships on your CV like you would any other job, truthfully listing the correct job title. I've interviewed plenty of people in the past, and what I cared about was about your experience and what you can do, not really caring too much how you got the job.

If they do care or feel they need more detail, they'll doubtless ask at the interview. So long as you aren't trying to pretend you completed uni courses, I'd be surprised if you had any problems. *

*this is my perspective as a UK resident. YMMV in other countries.

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Internships are not limited to students.

I changed career from Chef to Software Development. My first job(before I returned to school) was technically an 'intern' position. Intern positions(note I am only really talking about paid internships) typically are the bare-bones, entryiest entry-level jobs in a particular field. There're there so that people who want/need/lack experience in a field can get their feet wet, so to speak, without high expectations of previous knowledge. To this end internships are incredibly useful for almost any student or individual who wants to get real world experience in a field.

Why did I type all of that? Because that's how you should be pitching these internships on your own resume. You are an individual who wanted to gain more experience and knowledge in the field of your choice. In order to do so you take courses that interest you as they come up at a local university AND you've taken several internships. You are now confident that you are ready to take the next step in moving up and into that field. BOOM. Pure interview gold, right there.

You are viewing your internships and school choices as a huge detriment and something to try and step around. I think you will find yourself to be more successful if you embrace it.

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  • Thanks for answer. Personally I proud of both my internships and decision to dropout college and become self-taught student. What I am worried is there are lots of people for whom degree is a must requirement, who prefer education qualification over talent – dropout Sep 8 '14 at 20:40

Depending on your prospective employer's personal stances this could negatively effect your chances of getting the job, but it's still best to be honest accepting this might be the case. That said, just say you worked the jobs an the CV and not how you got them, it's also worth saying you're no longer a student, or you aren't actively pursuing a degree...

Now the negative part... For me personally I wouldn't hire you hearing this, but partly because I'm a strong advocate of people getting a degree and internships are often how degree holding individuals jump start their careers that they started late due to the time they commit to college.

Many businesses offer internships both as a charity to people getting educations to encourage formal education as well as in many cases a tax write benefit. Technically you're being a student but not a student goes against the why they are doing this AND might not actually qualify as a tax write off for them. (which means your grey area here might be causing them to break the law unknowingly)

So to me you've conned the system as well as these people good intentions, but as a manager, I also realize this is purely an opinion on my part, and not reflective of the actual benefit you'd bring my company... So I wouldn't cut you off the roster for that, but you'd probably have an uphill battle. (But I'm a stubborn and opinionated person who is very passionate about education, so I'm probably the exception here)

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  • "Technically you're being a student but not a student goes against the why they are doing this AND might not actually qualify as a tax write off for them" I don't get this. How can this break a law if someone is legally a student – dropout Sep 8 '14 at 20:34
  • @dropout what qualifies you as a student with the college, financial aid, taxes, etc have different rules. For example if I'm not a registered student taking classes toward a degree, but still enrolled in a sufficient number of classes in some states I'm a "fulltime student" in the eyes of the school, but not financial aid or eligible for state level student tax breaks, but probably eligible for federal tax breaks... In addition a handful of tax exemptions require a student to pass their courses to qualify. (Which based on this I'm assuming the OP signs up, but never attends) – RualStorge Sep 9 '14 at 11:09

You don't have to state to HR or to anybody else that you are a college dropout unless you want to flagellate yourself for being "a college dropout" and you are curious to see what mentioning being a college dropout does to your career/job prospects.

Be cognizant that your university may allot you a certain amount of time for you to complete your degree - say five or six years, and if you exceed that amount of time, you'll have to look into transferring your credits elsewhere to get a degree.

I hope your gambit works out because I doubt that your university is going to continue allowing you being a student for too many months longer, if you are not making "reasonable" progress toward a degree. Again, the specifics vary by university.

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  • Thanks but ASAIK there is no such thing in my country. You cannot take break for a year/semester here – dropout Sep 6 '14 at 17:38

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