Unpaid Internships

Many students, including myself, have to complete an internship in order to graduate. While it would be nice if all of these were paid, the reality is that pretty much all of them are unpaid. PROpenMic recently ran a post about  how these unpaid internships may be illegal. PROpenMic has been against the utilization of unpaid internships since its inception. Some major publicaations have recently run articales about the controversity of business during these hard economic times using students/internships as a source of free labor . Both the Times and the New York Times reported on this issue.  The New York Times Article reports on a few states that have even begun to “crack down” on companies that are not paying their interns.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Unpaid Internships

  1. Jeremy

    I feel your pain Meghan. I too had to complete and unpaid internship. It actually took me a few weeks to get over the fact that I was doing work for someone, while receiving “nothing” return. But it soon became one of those situations your parents tell you about; one of those “you’ll value the experience had more than the money earned” scenarios. It’s true, I learned so much with the American Cancer Society that it didn’t matter whether or not I was being paid by the hour. Consider that my noble side. With that out of the way, I will say that I like the idea that there are articles about cracking down on unpaid internships.

  2. mspille1

    I think states should start “cracking down” on businesses for unpaid internships. While I understand an internship is supposed to be about the experience and not the money, it is a little more difficult than that. My internship this summer is for 6 credits, which is roughly 300 hours. That is a lot of time to work over the summer with no pay! I hate to say it, but I’m going to need a little extra cash to get by because my parents seem to believe graduation equals their financial freedom from me! Scary!

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  4. Hey guys let me give you something even more to think about. So this summer I am doing an unpaid internship with a United Way of Atlanta at one of the local sites. I am getting 6-credit hours of school credit for it but guess what? I have to pay for those 6-credit hours this summer because it is an requirement for me to have those hours fulfilled. So ultimately I feel like I am paying to take an internship. This is in no way a complaint to the company I would be working with because I see it as a volunteer opportunity that will benefit both parties. But on the administrative/financial side of things I don’t feel like I should be paying for the internship . Maybe internships can be like a final requirement for programs and portfolio’s be submitted to obtain degree and credit hours earned can be an optional feature for students.

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  6. Unpaid internships are annoying. Yes a person is receiving a lot of experience, but really it is like free labor. It is funny because I never really thought of how it is actual work until I had a discussion with a man on an air plane to New York. He was talking about how unfair it was and then I started to think about it…. Well yes it is! I agree completely with this post and love how you added information to back up your post. It really is an idea that people should begin to think about and maybe even change.

  7. Jessica Cameron

    This is an interesting thought. Here we are spending our summers or semesters working our butts off for free. Although we have the option of completing an internship or taking Senior Seminar and an extra elective, the internship is encouraged and what will give us the real life experience we are looking for. I never really considered internships being free labor but I guess it is true. One of my friends recently told me that they are not filling a certain position at a company because they have the unpaid intern to do all the same work. Wonder what will happen if there is a law passed?

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