Monday, April 12, 2010

Unpaid intern--what do you think?

Anita Bruzzese, Gannett, writes on CareerBuilder about today’s cheapster special—the internship.

OK—I think most internships are sort of exploitive, talking people into thinking they need to work for free to gain experience.

Many these days do not give any college credit—just a chance to work long hours, fetch coffee, and be in the presence of greatness.

Anita wrote this from another view, though—how college kids can talk a business into letting them work free. Two interns at a Hong Kong company recently lauded this type of opportunity in the WSJ, too, I saw. So there are two sides…

If you want a free experience-type job, Anita says to learn about the company beforehand, see how you could fit in.

Be honest about what you bring to the party—and how many hours you could put in.

Some internships do not require top grades. Take it one step at a time.

Sponge up knowledge on the job—volunteer to be useful.

After you leave, stay in touch with the people—could be pay in your future.

So--what do you think? Is the era of the unpaid intern ending or just getting started?


Lori said...

The whole internship thing is a mini-mafia. My daughter had these options: Compete with thousands of interns for one lousy, REQUIRED internship (must have it to graduate) and hope you get it, or pay anywhere from $6K-$10K for a guaranteed internship, plus another $3-6K for the tuition for said internship. Ridiculous. She was lucky - she just got one in time, and she's not entirely sure the hiring dude can keep his hands to himself, the letch. They know she needs it. (I've instructed her in kickboxing and pepper spray use.)

Star Lawrence said...

Wow--hadn't even considered the twits these kids would end up working for. A mother's knows no end. Thanks for writing.